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Onions and health: a clarification

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ITHACA, N.Y. -- On Oct. 7, Rui Hai Liu, M.D., an associate professor of food science at Cornell University, and his colleagues in Cornell's Department of Food Science published an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry titled "Varietal differences in phenolic content and antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of onions."

The article reported on research indicating that onion types vary in antioxidant and antiproliferation activity which inhibits liver and colon cancer cell growth. One of the most active types was from New York state.

However, when the article was published, an error was made regarding the designation of the onion type grown in New York state. The commercial brand name "N.Y. Bold" was used instead of the more appropriate designations of "pungent yellow onion" or "yellow cooking onion."

Onions grown and marketed under the N.Y. Bold brand name represent only one of the onion production areas of the state. In fact, pungent yellow onions are grown in all onion production areas of the state. Consequently, the results of Liu's research apply to all New York-grown pungent yellow onions, the most commonly grown onion in the state. The research offers all producers of pungent yellow onions in New York state an opportunity to market the healthful attributes of this onion type.

Liu is correcting this error by submitting anerratum to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . This is the standard procedure used to address errors that appear in the scientific literature. Likewise, a clarification will appear in the next issue of CALS Connect . The online Cornell News Service release about the study also has been corrected.

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