why do onions make my eyes water
does chopping an onion make you cry? Unstable
chemicals. Onions produce the chemical irritant known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide. It stimulates the eyes' lachrymal glands so they release tears. Scientists used to blame the enzyme allinase
for the instability of substances in
a cut onion. Recent studies from
proved that lachrymatory-factor synthase, (a previously undiscovered
enzyme) is the culprit (Imani et al, 2002). Lachrymatory-factor synthase is released into the air when we
cut an onion. The synthase enzyme converts the amino acids sulfoxides of
the onion into sulfenic acid.
The unstable sulfenic acid rearranges itself into syn-ropanethial-S-oxide. Syn-propanethial-S-oxide gets into the air and comes in contact
with our eyes. The lachrymal glands become irritated and produces
the tears! For
more print resources. onion,
lachrymal gland and crying or tears
in the. When we cut onions, two substances combine in a chemical reaction, releasing a gas that causes us to cry, similar to that of tear gas. Trying to figure out is exhausting.
We cry about death, violence, breakups, abandoned puppies, sweet kisses and words charged with all kinds of meanings. We donБt cry when we should, and we cry for no reason. But letБs take a moment to appreciate the clarity of crying while cutting onions. Onions make us teary because a reaction in the onion releases a chemical called lachrymatory factor, or LF, that irritates our eyes. Simply peeling an onion wonБt make your eyes water. But if you chop, cut, crush or smash one Б boohoo. The onionБs cells break open, allowing two normally separated substances to combine.
Linked together like pieces of a puzzle, they become a potent chemical weapon. БIt turns into a gas. It hits your eyes, and then it hits your sensory nerves in your eyes and causes them to tear up,Б said Josie Silvaroli, an undergraduate at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio who helped describe how these pieces fit together, structurally speaking, in a paper in July in the journal ACS Chemical Biology. БItБs similar to tear gas. Б Lachrymatory factor evolved as a defense mechanism, protecting onions against microbes and animals like us, even if weБve learned to bear tears for the sake of flavor.
Damaging an onion basically causes it to ramp up its defenses: as cells break, the chemical reaction is unlocked. Inside the intact cells of an onion, a molecule called sulfenic acid precursor floats around the watery filler like a napping human in a lazy river. Also floating in that cytoplasm are little sacs called vacuoles, containing a protein called alliinase, which is like a little drill sergeant of the process.
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