The Allium Research Group
Onion and Garlic Research at the University of Liverpool
Onion and garlic are known for their flavour and valued in food and as pharmaceuticals. The flavours are created by a family of flavour precursors (alkyl cysteine sulphoxides) synthesised within the plant cells. An enzyme (alliinase) cleaves them to form volatile flavour compounds. A particular mixture of flavour precursors gives rise to the characteristic smells of each member of the onion family. Despite this apparent simplicity, there are many unanswered questions about flavour in these plants.
Our research brings together expertise in molecular biology, secondary metabolism, plant pathology and tissue culture. Our current work focuses on three aspects of onions and garlic:
For an update on onion marketing in the UK and a more technical account of onion flavour, see Knowing your Alliums.
Research into Allium flavour at Liverpool is led by Dr Meriel G Jones.
You can contact us by email
For the Home page of the School of Biological Sciences and the University of Liverpool, click on the links below: