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The Japanese company House Foods Group has successfully neutralised the intense effect that an onion has on the tear ducts. When an onion is cut, a specific enzyme is released that reacts to start the tears flowing. The enzyme also produces compounds called Thiosulfinates that produce the strong smell of an onion.
The “tearless onion” has been in production for nearly a decade and the trick has been to figure out the tear inducing agent. First the scientists thought it was a compound called Propanethiol S-oxide. And they had known that an enzyme called Alliinase breaks down a compound by the name of PRENCSO to Pyruvic acid. They had thought it went directly from there to Propanethiol S-oxide but when they added pure Alliinase to PRENCSO, it yielded no such thing.
So there had to be another enzyme at play. It turned out to be the enzyme Lachrymatory Factor synthase. So they zapped the enzyme with irradiated particles and produced the tearless onion. It has the original flavour of an onion, just not the piercing smell or the waterworks effect.