Why chopping the onions makes people to cry?


Chopping onions

Onions are perennial plants in the Allium family. This means, in the first year of their life cycle, they form a tasty bulb that serves as the store of their energy. The following year, the plant produces a flower and seeds, allowing it to reproduce.
Onions contain amino acid sulfoxides, which produce sulfenic acids inside the cells.

When we begin cutting an onion, the cells are disrupted and the normal cell enzymes mix with the sulfenic acids, thereby producing propanethial S-oxide. Propanethial S-oxide is a gaseous sulfur chemical that through the air and into our eyes. When this gas interacts with the water in our tear film, sulfuric acid is produced. This acid is not compatible with our tears and our eyes begin to burn. Our brain says, “Something is in my eye!”

The synthase enzyme and the aminoacid sulfoxides are stored in the onions separately. When they are exposed to each other the following processes occur.

1.Lachrymatory-factor synthase enzyme is released into the air when we an onion is cut.

2.This synthase enzyme converts aminoacid sulfoxides of the onion into sulfenic acids.

3.The sulfenic acid, which is unstable, rearranges itself into syn-ropanethial-S-oxide.

4.This syn-propanethial-S-oxide is released into the air and comes in contact with our eyes. Our lachrymal glands become irritated, thereby producing tears.

For chemistry lovers:- 



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Why chopping the onions makes people to cry?
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