Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why do Onions make us cry ???

Onions are rich in nutrients including vitamins B and C, protein, calcium and iron.

It is not the strong odour of the onion that makes us cry, but the substances that the onion releases when we chop it. The vegetable contains some sulphur compounds which are released when chopped. Sulphur being an irritant to both our nose and eyes, makes tears flow out.

What actually happens:

When the sulphur compound comes in contact with the water in our eyes, it produces very dilute sulphuric acid. This acid then irritates the eyes. In response to this acid, our eyes automatically blink and produce tears, which wash the eye and flush out the acid.


Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, have enlisted a natural ally to fight the foul smell that emanates from clothes after they have been worn. The fabric is first given an anti-microbial treatment to keep odour-causing germs at bay, which may fail to go even after washing. The material used for such treatment is normally of synthetic origin. Researchers have isolated a compound from neem seeds, which when blended with glycol, could foster anti-microbial properties lasting upto 25 washes.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rasogolla: Food for your eyes!

Researchers at Calcutta’s Jadavapur University have succeeded in fortifying the rasogolla, the favourite dessert of Bengalis, with beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.
Scientists from the department of food technology and biochemical engineering mixed carrot paste with cottage cheese which went into making the ping pong-like juicy balls. Among the various concentrations tried out, the one with 30 per cent carrot paste was found to possess the highest levels of beta-carotene.

Carrot rasogollas were found to be quite similar to the traditional ones in terms of moisture, sugar content, elasticity and cohesiveness, but had different fat and protein levels. The fortified sweet could be useful in fighting acute vitamin A deficiency, a major cause of childhood blindness and severe visual impairment in India.