Onions come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and flavors. Onions can be spicy and pungent or sweet and juicy and are full of vitamins and antioxidants. At E.Armata, a produce distributor at Hunts Point Produce Market, we carry a wide variety of onions from all across the world ranging in color, size, and taste. Although the characteristics of onions may vary, one thing they all have in common is the reaction they cause when you chop, cut, crush, or smash them. Within a few moments of opening up an onion, the aromatic scent wafts up to your nose, and your eyes begin to water. What exactly causes this reaction and can it be prevented?
Why Onions Make You Cry?
When the skin of an onion is broken and the onion’s cells break down, two normally separated substances combine. Damaging an onion causes its defenses to kick in and as cells break, the chemical reaction is released. Lachrymatory-factor synthase enzymes are released and react with the sulfoxides, converting them into sulfenic acids. When combined with the air, the sulfenic acid becomes a compound called syn-propanethial-S-oxide. When this compound meets our eyes, nerve endings in the cornea register the sensation of the syn-propanethial-S-oxide as a substance that could harm our eyes, thus causing them to tear.
How To Avoid Crying While Chopping
Scientists in Japan are working on engineering a tearless onion but until they make it to our grocery stores, here are a few tips you can try to avoid crying while chopping.
- Chop the onion underwater.
- Turn on a fan or open a window to scatter the sulfur compounds.
- Chill or cook an onion before chopping it.
- Wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes.
Handling onions may be a hassle, but they are worth the struggle for the health benefits they offer. Apart from being high in vitamins and antioxidants, some studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like onions decreases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Now that you know about the benefits of onions and how to avoid crying while preparing them, all you need now is some onions! At E. Armata, located at the Hunts Point Produce Market, we sell only the best quality and freshest onions available. We are your family-run produce and fruit wholesaler in the Hunts Point area as well as one of the largest wholesalers in the Hunts Point Produce Market. Call us at 718-991-5600 for any questions or to place an order.