Woolworths introduces Australia’s first-ever ‘tearless onions’

One less reason to cry.
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Onions can be considered one of the more unpleasant vegetables to cut. It’s not often that cooking can reduce you to tears, yet this kitchen staple takes substantial credit for this phenomenon.

To combat this common concern, the world of genetically modified food has only gotten cooler. For the first time ever in Australia, a crop of ‘tearless onions’ has been harvested for sale.

WATCH NOW: Woolworths trial the ‘Tearless Onion’.

The onions were first launched exclusively in Woolworths stores across NSW, Victoria, and the ACT in July 2023 as a trial and flew off the shelves. 

When the tearless onions were first unveiled, Paul Turner, General Manager of Fruit and Vegetables at Woolworths described them as a “unique innovation in Australian produce.”

And now, from July 2024, they will be launching everywhere except Western Australia.

“During the trial, lots of customers tried out the unique range and shared their experiences with us. For people who typically shed a tear or two when cutting onions, it’s really been a game changer for meal prep,” Mr. Turner shared in a statement announcing the news.

Australia’s first ‘tearless onions’. (Credit: Supplied)

How do tearless onions work?

People often cry when cutting onions due to their naturally stored sulfur enzymes – which are released when cutting through the vegetable. The acid irritates the eye when it comes in contact with the lacrimal glands (tear glands), thus producing tears.

To reduce the likelihood of producing tears, tearless onions contain fewer of these enzymatic compounds – which continue to reduce after they are harvested. This is unlike regular onions, which increase in compounds over time.

Woolworths Fruit & Veg General Manager with the Happy Chop Onions. (Credit: Woolworths)

According to the food retailer, the ‘happy chop’ onions were developed over decades using natural methods, one of which includes cross-breeding of different onion types.

What we’re hearing from this? Say goodbye to the onion goggles!

Because flavour is still important, the happy chop onion variety is described as retaining that familiar onion flavour – with a slightly sweeter taste than regular brown onions.

Happy Chop – Tearless Onions are available to purchase in 500g packs for $2.50 each from May until October, or while stocks last.

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