Here’s Why Chopping Onions Make us Cry

Onions are a versatile vegetable that are used in many different types of cuisine around the world. They are used to add flavor and texture to a wide variety of dishes, from soups and stews to salads, sandwiches, and stir-fries.

In addition to their culinary uses, onions also have a number of potential health benefits. They are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and other important nutrients, and may help to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease and some types of c****r.

Onions are also known for their antimicrobial properties, which means that they may help to fight off bacteria and other harmful pathogens. Some research has suggested that consuming onions may also have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects.

Why does chopping onions make us cry?

Chopping onions can make us cry because onions contain a gas called propanethial S-oxide. When an onion is cut, chopped, or sliced, it releases this gas into the air. The gas then reacts with the moisture in our eyes, producing a mild sulfuric acid, which can irritate the eyes and cause tears.

To understand this better, let’s break it down step by step:

When you cut into an onion, you break the onion’s cell walls, which releases enzymes called alliinases.

These enzymes then break down amino acid sulfoxides that are naturally present in the onion into sulfenic acids.

The sulfenic acids, in turn, react with enzymes to produce propanethial S-oxide.

The propanethial S-oxide gas then wafts up from the onion and into the air, where it can come into contact with our eyes.

When the gas comes into contact with the moisture in our eyes, it creates a mild sulfuric acid, which irritates the eyes and causes them to tear up.

How can you prevent crying from chopping onions?

There are several ways to prevent crying while chopping onions, some of which include:

Using a sharp knife: A sharp knife will cut through the onion cleanly and release fewer irritants, which can reduce the amount of gas released.

Chilling the onion: You can also try placing the onion in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes before chopping it. The cold temperature will slow down the release of the irritants, making it less likely that they will reach your eyes.

Cutting under running water: Cutting onions under running water can help to wash away the irritants before they can reach your eyes.

Using a ventilated area: Cooking in a well-ventilated area can help to disperse the irritants before they have a chance to reach your eyes.

Wearing goggles: Wearing protective goggles, such as swimming goggles or safety glasses, can create a barrier between your eyes and the irritants, preventing tears.

Lighting a candle: Burning a candle near your workspace can help to burn off the irritants before they reach your eyes.

Try one or more of these methods to see which works best for you. And remember, if you do start to tear up, taking a break and stepping away from the onions can give your eyes a chance to recover.

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