March 21, 2024

5 ways to chop onions without crying

5 ways to chop onions without crying

Here are five(5) tips for chopping onions without crying

By Joy Ihechi

Ever wondered why chopping onions bring tears to your eyes?

That’s because onions contain enzymes called alliinase, which are responsible for breaking down sulfur-containing compounds present in the onion cells. When an onion is chopped, sliced, or crushed, these enzymes are activated, causing the sulfur compounds to be released as volatile gases.

These gases, when exposed to the moisture in our eyes, undergo a chemical reaction to form sulfuric acid. It is this sulfuric acid that irritates the eyes, leading to a stinging sensation and triggering tear production as a protective mechanism.

5 tips for chopping onions without crying

Chill the onion to avoid crying

Before chopping, place the onions in a refrigerator for about thirty(30) minutes. The cold temperature helps reduce the release of irritant compounds into the air, therefore minimising the chances of crying.

Use a sharp knife

A sharp knife causes less damage to the onion cells and also creates cleaner cuts, which can reduce the amount of onion juice released into the air. This also helps minimise eye irritation and the chances of crying.

Chill the onion in water:

Chilling your onion in water before chopping can help reduce tears because it slows down the release of irritants. When you chill the onion, it decreases the activity of the enzymes that break down into sulfur compounds. This means fewer irritants are released into the air.

Light a candle:

Light a candle near your chopping area. The flame can help burn off some of the irritant compounds released by the onion, reducing their presence in the air and also its impact on your eyes.

Ventilate the area:

Ensure good ventilation in your kitchen by opening the windows , using a kitchen vent or even a fan , this improves air circulation and disperse/ dilute the onions vapors reducing their concentration in the air.

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