Many people have been wondering what really causes one to cry while slicing onions. Well, according to Sun UK, the reason is very simple.
As we chop up an onion, it releases enzymes that act as catalysts for us weeping over your kitchen counter.
When these molecules are released they form a type of acid which then reacts with the air the resulting gas hits your eye, reacting with the water there to create sulphuric acid, which burns.
This leads to more tears as your eyes tries to get rid of the stinging.
How can you chop and onion without crying?There are a few tips and tricks you can employ to prevent sobbing your eyes out every time you need to cook up an onion-filled dish.
1. Light a candle
The idea is that the flame will get rid of some of the fumes which cause the gas.
Without them, you shouldn’t have as much of a problem.
2. Freeze it first
You need to pop the onion in the freezer about 15 minutes before you want to chop it.
The cold is supposed to stop it releasing the molecules which cause all the problems.
Slicing an onion in water works too, again because it stops the vapour hitting your eyes.
3. Soak it
Popping an onion in water once it’s peeled but not cut also helps.
It apparently draws out the compounds, meaning there aren’t as many to react with your eyes.
4. Use a spoon
Pop a spoon in your mouth while you cut your onion and you won’t cry.
It works because the chemicals bind to the metal of the spoon before they can get to your eyes, so you don’t cry.
5. Get chewing
Some people suggest putting a bit of bread in your mouth, with part of it hanging out.
This is supposed to catch some of the chemicals before they reach your eyes.
Chewing gum also helps as it makes you breathe through your mouth, which disperses the irritants more. That means less get to your eyes, so you won’t cry.
What chemical in onions makes your eyes burn?
The exact chemical that makes our eyes burn so much when we chop up onions is syn-propanethial-S-oxide.
This volatile sulphur compound wafts towards your eyes where it then forms sulphuric acid.
The sulphuric acid then causes that dreaded burning sensation and resulting tears.