The two major problems with peeling or chopping onions are the pungent smell and the stinging tears in your eyes. The tears are caused by the sulphur content which gets released when the onion is cut, and reacts with air. Here are a few useful tips to avoid tears while chopping onions:
One of the age old practices is to cut the onions under running water. This would prevent the sulphur molecules getting in contact with air and causing the irritation. We may also soak the onions in lime juice prior to chopping.
Refrigerate the onions for about 10 minutes before chopping to reduce the amount of amino acid getting released.
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Keep a piece of bread between your teeth while chopping the onion. The bread shall absorb the fumes and reduce the tears in the eyes.
Adding vinegar on the chopping board helps denature the enzyme and thereby reduce the chances of tears.
We may use the above methods to minimise the tears and make the effort of cutting onions more enjoyable.