July 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Tips for Ayurveda

IS IT SAFE TO USE LEFT OVER ONIONS THE NEXT DAYThere is a lot of rumor that cut onions or left over onions are unsafe to consume the next day. It causes infections and diseases .From times immemorial onions are being  used in cooking. Onions are basically soft and are prone to damage upon handling. The rate of onion decay will depend upon the level of bacterial present, the type of bacteria, temperature, oxygen and light.

Few precautionary measures to avoid onions spoil and decay. When you purchase onions select dry ones. Handle onions with care. Store them in a dry, cool and well ventilated place. Do not place them in poly covers which are sealed. Lack of air will make onions rot. Place onions in meshed trays such that aeration happens.IS IT SAFE TO USE LEFT OVER ONIONS THE NEXT DAY

Onions are high in vitamin C and are a good source of fiber and other key nutrients. Onions are fat free and low in calories. Onions have anti-cancer properties too. Onions are added to dishes to enhance the taste and add flavor. It is consumed fresh as salad too.

Reasons for onions decay:

When you cut a vegetable the cell walls are disrupted, water and fluids are released and these may contain nutrients that enhance bacterial growth. So if there are bacteria present the cut surface will provide an enriched environment for more growth. Placing the onion or vegetable in the refrigerator will typically slow down the bacterial growth, but does not inhibit it completely (and some bacteria actually grow very well at refrigeration temperatures). So any vegetable, cut or not, is likely to have bacteria that will result in decay eventually, even if refrigerated.

Chopped onions do not decay on its own. It decays due to the environmental conditions. The bacteria attacks and the surface starts decaying. Onion sliced with tail is used for oiling dosa pans. Dispose it the same day. Retention of onion with oil will attract bacteria and it will start smelling too.

Suggest you place the left over onions in air tight packs in the refrigerator. Left over onions should be stored in a hygienic manner to avoid deterioration and color change. Consume it within 2 to 3 days. If you observe color change or a slimy feeling- dispose them off.

Left over or cut onions are not poisonous. They can be used when stored in a refrigerator, in a sealed container at the proper temperature of 40°F or below for up to 4 days. You can also store them safely in zippered bags and use them within a day or two. But onions can lose their nutrient value when stored over a period of time.

General information about onions:

It is observed the pungent odor is absorbed by the container in which the onions are stored. To remove unpleasant odors , wash these containers with lime juice or lemon peels.

You may have observed that at times sauted onions tastes bitter. High heat makes onion tastes bitter. Therefore always sauté onions on medium or low flame to avoid bitterness. People do sauté chopped onions on low flame and refrigerate. This can be used for recipes that require frying of onions.

To reduce eye watering or tearing when cutting onions, you can first chill the onions for 30 minutes. Then, cut off the top and peel the outer layers leaving the root end intact. The main reason being the root end has the highest concentration of sulphuric compounds that make your eyes water.

Left over onions handled and stored in hygiene conditions are safe to consume. There is no risk involved. Ayurveda recommends usage of onions for health and hair growth. Now with women working and leaving home in the early hours, you need to make arrangements for next day’s menu and cooking. Peeling and chopping onions will save lots of time. Ensure you do not keep it in the refrigerator for more than 2 to 3 days.

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