Onion cutting without howling
This keeps your eyes dry
When we cut an onion, the same tragedy always follows. First it itches, then it burns, and finally the tears flow. Because with each cut, the cells of the vegetables are destroyed. As a result, the enzyme alliinase in the cell interior comes into contact with the amino acid isoalliin from the cell wall. The enzyme cleaves the amino acid and among other things, the gas is formed propanedial oxide. This irritates the eyes and makes the tears flow. In this way the body dilutes the irritant and flushes it out of sight.The onion is a commonly used home remedy for inflammation of the middle ear due to its antibacterial effect. (Image: Andrew / fotolia.com)
But what helps against the unpleasant howl in the kitchen? The most important utensil is a sharp knife, as it will hurt fewer cells. Whoever cuts while sitting, does not keep his head directly over the work surface and therefore comes in contact with less irritating gas. Even the extractor or pull through the open window can eliminate the pungent vapors from the air.
Water forms a film on the surface and in this way retains the irritant. Therefore, it makes sense to dip chopping board, knife and onion briefly in cold water. It has also proven useful to put the onion in the fridge for half an hour before cutting. The low temperatures lower the enzyme activity, resulting in less irritating gas. If all else fails, some resort to unusual methods and wear very pragmatically a pair of diving goggles when cutting onions.
But really convincing is none of these "tricks" from the everyday kitchen. That's why scientists keep tinkering with "tear-free" onions and bringing new varieties onto the market. Most recently, US breeders have developed an onion through decades of crossbreeding, and their specificity in storage becomes clear. While normal varieties increase in sharpness over time, the new onion becomes milder and sweeter. When cutting your eyes should remain dry. So far, there is the tear-free onion but only in a few US supermarkets. Whether she comes to the German market, is questionable. Therefore, onion cutting is still in demand inventiveness. Heike Kreutz, bzfe