Research and Technology
Everyone knows a Vidalia onion has to be sweet, but it also has to have a pleasing “onion” flavor. To be deemed Vidalia-caliber the seed is put to the test.
Companies from all over the world compete to produce seed good enough to be declared “Vidalia.” Typically, more than forty new seeds are introduced in a year, but each must undergo a minimum of three years testing.
The Vidalia® Onion Committee annually funds scientific research projects conducted by the University of Georgia (UGA). Tests include anything from weather-related stress factors, best irrigation and weeding practices, storage improvements, fertilization practices, organics growth, and last but not least, seed varieties.
Seeds are tested for flavor profiles, pungency, sugar content, shape, color, pest resistance, and shelf life. UGA Extension personnel test both in the lab and in the fields of the Vidalia Onion & Vegetable Research Farm, founded in 2000, where the official UGA Onion Variety Trial is conducted annually.
Finally, a panel of industry experts recommends favorable seed varieties to the Commissioner of Agriculture, who has granted the final seal of approval since 1996.
"They’re definitely the sweetest I’ve ever tasted, and the only ones that are so mild you can bite into them like an apple."- Chef Bobby Flay “Postcard from Vidalia, Georgia” Bobby Flay Cooks American