Tokyo (AFP) - The sobbing of a chef as he chops onions in the kitchen could be a thing of the past thanks to one Japanese company which says it has produced a tear-free vegetable.
Scientists say they have managed to disable the production of a powerful substance an onion releases as the knife slices into it, cutting down on the pungent fumes that bring tears to the eyes.
House Foods Group said in a press release that they bombarded the brown bulb with irradiating ions in a process that drastically reduces the level of a certain enzyme that is key to this process.
A spokesman said no decision had yet been made on whether they would commercialise their tear-free onions.
The company's researchers won the Ig Nobel Prize -- an award handed out to honour achievements organisers consider unintentionally funny -- in 2013 for their discovery of the biochemical process behind how onions make people blubber.