Slicing or cutting onions is often associated with shedding tears in most individuals which normally has no emotions attached.
This article addresses what causes this and how to avoid it.
According to Healthline, onions have a natural defense mechanism to protect them from animals. This is because they grow underground and are thus vulnerable to being eaten by them. Because of this, onions naturally release some enzymes and sulfenic acid which combine to form another compound called propanethial S-oxide.
Propanethial S-oxide is a gas that is irritanting to the eyes and when it gets to the eyes, it is converted to sulfonic acid which in turn is responsible for the tingling sensations in the eyes. The defence mechanism of the eyes detect this & to protect it from injury, it generates tears that help to flush it out.
It is important to note that even though the sensations can be uncomfortable, it is not considered harmful to the eyes. However, there are effective ways to avoid this.
1. Cut in such a way that the onion vapors do not directly reach your eyes
2. Soak your onion in a bowl of ice water for about 30 minutes before cutting. This diminishes the potential of the irritants in it
3. You may need to wear a goggles when cutting
4. You may also choose to replace your onions with other options such as onion powders, dried onions, or garlic.