S & L Produce, Inc.

Onions (Bulb)

RETAIL

Incorporate signs into displays advising consumers of flavor characteristics and uses of each variety was well as nutrition information and selection tips. Graphic boxes for shipping and displaying help merchandisers with overflow displays.

U.S. supplies are available year round, with specialized varieties available on a seasonal basis. Market volume generally falls into two categories, spring/early-summer fresh and late summer/fall storage. Spring/early-summer fresh onions are yellow, white, and red with varied shapes, such as flat, top-shaped, and round, and are often used raw. Late summer/fall storage onions are available in yellow, white, and red and are round, with flavor ranging from moderate to strong and noted for storing and exporting. Additionally, sweet onion varieties have increased in popularity in recent years because of their milder flavor and higher sugar content.

Placement

Keep displays together rather than scattered throughout the department, allowing consumers to select more than one variety and size. Size does not determine quality.

Promotion

Selection is based on intended use. Larger onions are easier to slice while smaller ones are convenient for pickling. Inform consumers that mild-flavored onions are best in salads and on hamburgers, and red onions are popular in salads. For the most part, many consumers are unaware which varieties are mild or strong.

FOOD SERVICE

Onions add flavor to almost any entree. Onions can be braised, boiled, steamed, baked, scalloped, fried, grilled, stuffed, roasted, sautéed, used in stir-fry, or eaten raw. Deep-fried onion blooms or flowers are popular at many restaurants.

Prepare onions as close to cooking time as possible since their flavor deteriorates and aroma intensifies over time.

To prevent tearing, refrigerate onions for 30 minutes before preparations, or when cutting, trim off the top and peel the outer layers while leaving the root end whole, as the root end contains the majority of sulfuric compounds that causes your eyes to tear.

To make the skin easier to remove, peel the onion under warm running water.

To bring out a sweeter flavor for raw eating, place an onion in the refrigerator and chill for one hour before serving, or peel and cut into slices and place in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes and then drain.

HANDLING

- Odor producer (Do not store or transport odor-sensitive items with commodities that produce odors. Onions produce odors that will be absorbed by apples, celery, and pears.)
- Odor-sensitive (Onions will absorb odors produced by apples and pears.)
- Moderately sensitive to freezing injury (Able to recover from one or two light freezes)

For the short time onions are held at retail, they are usually not refrigerated. They need a dry atmosphere and too much humidity induces decay. Onions draw moisture from vegetables they are stored with, which may also cause decay.

Stack onions to provide good air circulation. If in bags, stack in a crisscross manner leaving air space across the middle. Cartons should be stacked.

NUTRITION

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following content descriptors for bulb onions: fat-free, saturated fat-free, sodium-free (must state that bulbs onions contain less than 5 mg sodium per 85g bulb onion), cholesterol-free, low in calories, and a good source of vitamin C.

Details

Temp

40-60°F

Humidity

65-70%

Mist

No

Shelf Life

30-180 Days

Nutrition

Serving Size:
1 medium onion (148g)

Calories

60

Total Fat

0g (%)

Saturated Fat

0g (%)

Cholesterol

0mg (%)

Sodium

5mg (0%)

Total Carbs

14g (5%)

Dietary Fiber

3g (12%)

Sugars

9g

Protein

2g (4%)

Vitamin A

0%

Vitamin C

20%

Calcium

4%

Iron

2%

For reference only.
Percent values based on
2,000-calorie diet.