Saturday, March 7, 2009

What makes us cry while slicing an onion?


Onions have a pungent odor, but this is not what causes our eyes to tear whenever we slice these bulbs. It is the release of syn-propanethial-S-oxide, a chemical irritant that stimulates our tear glands. When we cut an onion, an enzyme called lachrymatory-factor synthase is released into the air. This enzyme then couples with the enzyme present in the onion to produce an unstable sulfenic acid that rearranges itself to another gaseous substance, syn-propanethial-S-oxide. This gas gets into our eyes, producing sulfuric acid, and then the tears start flowing.

There are ways in getting around this problem.

  • you can wear googles.
  • you can chill the onion in the refrigerator before chooping it.
  • you can try running tap water over the bulbs as you slice or cut the onion under water.

33 comments:

  1. I just buy the frozen chopped onions!!
    Much easier!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I slice onions under a running water. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I slice onions when I'm standing! that works effectively. siguro matangkad kasi ako! lol

    thaks for visiting my blog jong :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for all the info. I do like it ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  5. I light a candle close by. That seems to help. Running water is good, too. If I wore the goggles, though, I think my spouse would put me in the loony bin!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice blog, I am not the best with google blogs but this is very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  7. fascinating. I was tearing up just reading the post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is there something wrong from crying? wear googles talaga hah heheh

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well...when slice onion absolutly wear the mask. Just simple....Hehehehhe....

    ReplyDelete
  10. informative post...thanks for sharing

    there is a gadget now that is good for this thing, no tears at all, i guess its called snap-chop

    ReplyDelete
  11. its very informative webiste.., really cool keep updating and keep blogging..,

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well, I don't know that. Good to know. :) If there's only a special onion to make the blog writing process easy - like for the author to be properly stimulated so he'd write with ease and depth. And so readers will have no choice but to cry for joy and awe because of what he's reading.

    Nice to meet you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. oh chilling the onions seems like a gd idea!

    ReplyDelete
  14. hehehe.. this me dhe
    nice to know u ^^

    ReplyDelete
  15. hmm...
    but i didn't cry while slicing an onion, :D

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi,
    Visited your blog. Very interesting info!

    Onions make you tear. But old onions are worse. They make you cry buckets! So best thing is chop them real fast and get it over and done with! :P

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've never tried wearing googles--wouldn't that be a sight! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. gosh. i never slice an onion! haha =D

    ReplyDelete
  19. great post! onions do make me cry!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Excellent advice. I didn't have a clue what caused the tears, and thanks for the helpful tips. I really like your blog. It's a great idea and a lot of fun to read.

    I'm glad you stopped by and read A Nice Place In The Sun. I added you to my friends list, and I will become a subscriber, in addition to following you.

    Nice to meet you~

    Annie

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like to soak the onions in water before chopping them up. That works. :) Nice, useful blog!

    ReplyDelete
  22. chilling the onion before slicing it is really effective... that's what i do :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. yeah, nice to know... hehehe!

    ReplyDelete
  24. i hate to slice onions but i tip is to open your mouth while slicing that way it minimizes the pain in the eyes cause some will goes into the mouth

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great. I will try the ways you offer next time.

    ReplyDelete
  26. There is a certain way to cut onions which doesn't effect your eyes at all, well it always works for me! The difficulty comes in explaining it.

    Cut the top off the onion but leave the root on the other side. Try cutting the onion in half through the root so the root is on both halves. Then start slicing horizontally towards the root but not all the way to the root so it stays in tact. Then start cutting vertically, again towards the root but so the onion stays in tact.
    Finally, cut adjacent to the root to dice the onion. And ta da! All done.

    Probably doesn't make any sense but hey ho, it works!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. This always happens to me! Thanks for the info.!

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's a kind of our daily secret. :)
    nice post brother.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Now this is right up my street I can so relate to teary eyes in the kitchen

    ReplyDelete
  30. My eyes never get teary when i slice onions tho for some reason, but if my girl starts slicing it she'll look like she's been crying for hours

    ReplyDelete