STREAMING eyes could be a thing of the past for chefs across the country after Merseyside academics invented the first tear-free onion.
The Supasweet, which goes on sale next week, is the brainchild of scientists from the University of Liverpool biology department.
Exclusively grown by British farmers, the vegetable is apparently so mild it can be eaten like an apple.
But the key difference is that it won't cause the familiar pain and tears when chopped up. Onions cause tears because they contain high quantities of pyruvic acid which is released when an onion is cut and exposed to the air.
The university team, led by Dr Meriel Jones and Dr Hamish Collin, were able to halve the level of pyruvic acid in the new onion by growing it in lowsulphur soils.
Dr Jones told the Daily Post: "We saw a niche for UK growers to produce a mild sweet onion which could also be enjoyed raw".
It has taken almost four years for the research to reach the point where the Supasweet onions could be grown in commercial quantities.
But the scientific team are now confident that extra mild Supasweet will be a great success.
Dr Jones added: "I think it will add variety to our diets, but I'm not entirely certain I'd want to chomp my way through several." Tesco's fresh produce director Steve Murrells was enthusiastic about the benefits of the Supasweet.
"It heralds the beginning of a new era of food without tears," he said "The Supasweet will open up a new world of cooking."
The onion has already been given the seal of approval by celebrity Liverpool chef Paul Heathcote, who owns city restaurant Heathcote's and was involved in trials last year. "The new onions are very sweet, but still have the flavour of an ordinary onion which makes them very versatile," he said.