Burning and eye irritation when we cut onions and how to avoid them
Do you burn your eyes and get irritated every time you try to cut onions to cook? We discover why it happens, and what tricks you can follow so that this does not happen to you anymore.
- Crying, burning, and irritation in the eyes when cutting onions is very common and happens to every cook who boasts.
- It is due to different elements present in the onion, which are released into the air when cutting it.
Luckily, there are ways to keep our eyes from getting irritated.
It is very common. Every time we start to cut the onion to prepare a salad or any vegetable sauté, our eyes start to get irritated considerably and then give way to a good amount of tears with which it seems we have had a bad day.
But what is the reason why we started to “cry” every time we chopped this vegetable? Surely many will ask. It is not due to a sentimental reason or anything similar. Nor because we feel sorry for the onion to see how we are cutting little by little in tiny pieces.
Onion plant cells react with water in the eye
Everything is due to a simple chemical reaction. As many of you will know, the onion is a plant that consists entirely of different layers of plant cells that are composed of mostly ammonia.
From there, from the moment we take the knife and cut the layers of the onion, the substances present in this vegetable are “released” until they finally reach our eyes.
Next, the vegetal compounds react when they come into contact with the water that is right on the surface of our eyeballs, producing a new chemical reaction with which sulfuric acid is formed.
As a defense mechanism, the eyes automatically begin to secrete tears, in order to combat the sulfuric acid and thus rehydrate the entire affected area. This process is basically a natural stimulus of our body before the “attack” of an aggressive stimulus that can be harmful to our eyes. No more no less.
How can we avoid the burning in the eyes when cutting the onion?
Once this is known, I am sure that many of you have the following question: “How can we stop crying when we cut an onion?” Well, through the last part of the article, we will give you a series of tips that will surely help you they will be very useful from now on.
Protect yourself with glasses
It may sound a little obvious, but the truth is that it is one of the most used methods. When cutting an onion, you can always wear sunglasses, sunglasses or scuba glasses.
In this way, we will achieve that the substance that segregates when chopping this vegetable does not come into direct contact with our eyes. Easy, simple and for the whole family.
Put the onion in the freezer
This method is increasingly widespread and also very useful as it is very simple to carry out.
Just put the onion in the freezer for a period not exceeding 60 minutes. When we take it out, surely cutting it will secrete less of that substance that is so irritating to our eyes.
Cut the onion with a lit candle
A method somewhat unknown but at the same time is most effective. Before cutting the onion, just light a small candle nearby, getting the humor and heat that comes from it absorb some of this substance from the onion, just before it comes into contact the eyes.
Use a sharp knife
Using a knife with a very sharp blade will also be very useful when cutting the onion without this means experiencing a sea of tears. This is because this type of utensils makes a cleaner and uniform cut in the layers of this vegetable. In this way, the release of this irritable substance is decreased.