Interview with the tearless-onion inventors

Tech Notes interviewed the Ig Nobel Prize-winning tearless-onion inventors. The interview is in Japanese. Here’s the beginning of it, auto-translated into English:

Ig Nobel Prize interview Laugh and Think [2nd]. If you turn off the onion really reason for tears – discovered from where there is no doubt: House Foods Group Inc. Mr. Imai


Ig Nobel Prize, which is given to the “performance for his thought-provoking laugh people” (Awards makes people Laugh and then Think). This time, was published in the British scientific journal Nature in 2002 “onion tear factor producing enzyme (Lachrymatory Factor Synthase: LFS) discovered” in achievements, in 2013 the award has been House Foods Group Inc. Central Research the Prize in Chemistry. I’ve interviewed talk to Imai Shinsuke Mr. Tokoro fundamental technology development department research Senior Doctorate (Agriculture).

– If you turn off the onion because tears Dell, you seem like a fact Needless to say?

Imai Shinsuke Mr. (or less, Mr. Imai): winning reason “biochemical process that onion cry the people, that it is more complex than scientists had thought, that it revealed” was. As you mention, anyone If you turn off the onion tears coming out it is that knows, the compounds of the factors that shed tears (tear factor) is also in the 1970s had been identified.

But, in fact, the presence of the essential enzyme in the production of this tear factor had been missed . We will notice the presence of this enzyme, tear factor synthase (Lachrymatory Factor Synthase: LFS below, LFS) was named.

LFS is one of the proteins contained a lot to extract of onion. Itself that the Purification of the LFS to confirm the properties, was not difficult. The reason for this study has been noted, to whom one mechanism of generation of tear factor that was not suspicious, why to question, whether I noticed the presence of the LFS? It is a place called. However, even I myself, and mean was going to find the LFS from the beginning, did not….