Science

Why don't onions make you cry?


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Chopping onions releases a chemical lachrymatory factor that can irritate your eyes. There are several ways to avoid this reaction. Use a very sharp knife and chill the onion for a few minutes in the freezer before cutting. Sometimes wearing goggles or even contact lenses can lessen the reaction.

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The "Sunion" is a sweet, crunchy new crossbreed of onion that won't make you cry when slicing and dicing it. What makes us tear up when we cut onions is a compound called lachrymatory-factor synthase, which forms sulfuric acid when it contacts the water in your eyes. Sunions don't do that.

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