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Why you cried over chopping onions

Feb 18th 2015 at 3:18 AM

Onion is botanically included in the Liliaceae and spices are found across a wide range of latitudes and altitudes in Europe, Asia, N. America and Africa. Onions are versatile and are often used as an ingredient in many dishes and are accepted by almost all traditions and cultures.

Onions are rich in two chemical groups that have perceived benefits to human health. These are the flavonoids and the alk(en)yl cysteine sulphoxides (ACSOs). Two flavonoid subgroups are found in anion, the anthocyanins, which import a red/purple color to some varieties and flavanols such as quercetin and its derivatives responsible for the yellow and brown skin of many other varieties.

Many of us have cried over chopping onions. Do you know why they make your eyes water, though? Yes, they have that pungent juice spraying up into your eyes. But do you know what’s in that misty juice? And don’t stop that chopping – chopping and crushing onions release health-benefiting compounds.

Let’s get straight to the point. The component in an onion that makes your eyes water is called lachrymatory factor, from Latin lacrima, or “tear.” (How appropriate is that!) Lachrymatory factor irritates the eyes and stimulate the tear glands to produce tears, much like the action of a tear gas.

How to prevent from tear:

1. Use a very sharp knife when cutting onions. The enzymes are released when cells are broken or crushed; using sharp knife slices through the onion rather than crushing and thus, fewer enzymes are released. Regardless of whether you employ different tactics too, use sharp knife in every onion-cutting situation.

2. 2. Reduce the amount of the acid enzyme released into the air has zero effect on taste. The fridge can do it too; just make sure not to keep them next to apples or potatoes or leave them in there for too long (20 minutes should do it) – they can cause odors if you do.

3. 3. Cut the onion under water. This is an effective method, but the problem is that it’s a bit difficult to maneuver. In water the onion bits go everywhere unless you hold onto them and then scooping them up and draining out the onion water and it can all just not be worth it if you don’t execute it right.


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