Why Cutting Onions Make You Cry ?

Introduction :

If you have ever chopped an onion or you were sitting near your Mom while she was cutting an onion then definitely you have experienced tears coming out from your eyes. But did you know why other than emotion onions make you cry ? If not then continue reading we are going to explain why cutting onions make you cry and how can you avoid unnecessary tears coming from your eyes?

Cutting onions

Every living thing in the universe has some defense system. For example if some will throw the ball towards you then you protect yourself by your hands. Plants too have a defense system. If any cell of plants are damaged then they released polyphenols. Polyphenols is a bitter tasting chemical that protects plants from  hungry animals trying to eat it. 

Why Cutting Onions Make You Cry ?

These defence systems of onions are well developed. Onions have advanced systems to defend themselves by hungry animals and insects. They further go producing an even more irritating chemical, propanethial s-oxide.

Onions consist of amino acid sulfoxide and spew enzymes. When we cut onion their millions of cells break and amino acid sulfoxide and enzymes combine to form a Syn propanethial s-oxide, an irritating gas.

Propanethial s-oxide is a volatile chemical that evaporates at normal temperature. When these propanethial s-oxide reach our eyes. It reacts with water layers that cover and protects our eyes. These reactions result in the formation of sulphuric acid in your eyeballs. 

Propanethial S-oxide is a lachrymatory agent, meaning that it generates tears when it touches the eye. These sulphuric acids cause the sensation of burning in the eyes. In response to this formation of sulphuric acid, our tears gland (lacrimal gland) produces disinfectant to wash out the acids.

When these disinfectants are produced in a large quantity then our eyes can’t hold it. Hence, they start falling from our eyes as tears and we start crying without any emotions.

How to Avoid Tears While Cutting Onions ?

  1. Before cutting onions keep them in the freezer so that this volatile gas will not evaporate earlier. But don’t keep onions in the freezer for a long time. Hence, the reaction will not occur.  
  2. Put a distance between you and the onion while cutting onions. 
  3. To reduce the effect, you use the goggles not very much effective but can reduce the tears. 
  4. Cut the onions with a sharp knife so that the damage causes the onion will be less. Hence, the less Propanethial S-oxide will be released. 
  5. First cut roots of the onion because they contain more sulphur.

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