Why we cry when we cut onions

Who has not cried when cutting the onion sometime? In fact, we could almost reformulate the question again ... Who has not cut an onion some time and always cried when doing it? There is no doubt that we are, without a doubt, faced with an inconvenient inconvenience, especially for those who cook regularly and use the onion among its most common and habitual ingredients. But why are we crying? Maybe we feel an unconscious grief for passing the knife through its different layers ?.

Before discovering it, we should comment that the onion is an underground bulb, edible, that grows in the plant of the same name (whose scientific name to be more precise is Allium cepa). It is a vegetable of Asian origin whose cultivation is known and is carried out from 6,000 a.C, when shortly after it spread through Europe until finally reaching America. It belongs to the family of Liliaceae, with outer leaves responsible for protecting the bulb.

We are, therefore, before a very popular vegetable in many countries of the world, whose consumption has been extended for many, many centuries. With regard to the benefits of onion more important, we can emphasize that it is a natural food with bactericidal and fungicidal action, it helps to lower blood sugar levels and also high cholesterol levels, it is a wonderful cleanser of the blood with an important diuretic function, besides to be useful when regulating intestinal transit.

Although it is a very common and popular food, from the first moment we remove its first layer and begin to cut it our eyes begin to itch and weep. The reason is found in a Irritating gas known as alinasa, which we breathe when cutting onions. Causes an irritation of the nasal mucous membranes. Explained in a much more technical and precise way, at the moment of cutting an onion, cell breakages occur that allow the enzyme alinasa to come in contact with the trans - (+) - S- (1-propenyl) -L-cysteine ​​sulfoxide, producing , pyruvate, ammonia and syn-propanotial-S-oxide. The latter is the molecule responsible for tearing and ocular irritation.

Many experts consider that the propanotial exerts a tear-gas action, because when it comes into contact with water it decomposes resulting in hydrogen sulfide, sulfuric acid and propanal, being probably the sulfuric acid that damages the conjunctival membrane, producing the annoying tearing .

If you are passionate and you like onions a lot but you find it very uncomfortable to cut them, find out more about how to cut the onion without your eyes watering.

Images | Leonardo Shinagawa / Quinn Dombrowski This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.

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