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Do you know your onions when it comes to food? Science Week reveals incredible grub facts.

Byline: CILLIAN O'BRIEN

IRELAND'S 20th Science Week opened up a world of technology, science and maths to the nation.

Around 800 events took place across the country this year, with thousands learning more about the human body, animal kingdom and space.

Food was top of the agenda on day five of Science Week as experts revealed interesting findings behind some of the most common meals we eat.

And if you've ever wondered why onions make you cry or what goes into making dynamite, then look no further for some grub-related facts to get your teeth into.

ONIONS

Scientists have revealed chopping onions releases a gas that travels upwards into our eyes. Our bodies will then produce tears to help dilute the irritating substance and remove it from our body.

APPLES

Apple seeds contain a cyanide compound which if consumed in large quantities can have devastating effects. But our body is able to handle the tiny amounts in each seed due to a protective coating.

PEANUTS

Most of us wouldn't associate peanuts with explosives but its oil can be used in the production of nitroglycerine, one of the main elements of dynamite.

LEMONS

Lemons have a typically sour taste because of the amount of acid in the fruit. Lemon juice has been found to contact up to 6% of citric acid.

COCONUT

Coconut water can be used in medical emergencies as a substitute for blood plasma but scientists say this is only an option in drastic cases.

POTATOES

Genetic analysis has shown the mould organism responsible for the Irish potato famine appears to have become extinct. Unfortunately, a related blight causes [euro]5billion in US crop losses annually.

CAFFEINE

Caffeine is a natural pesticide that stops insects nibbling on the plant but it rewards honeybees with a buzz that encourages them to return.

GLUTEN

There is no proven health benefit of avoiding gluten unless you have a medically-diagnosed intolerance. The protein is found in wheat, rye and barley and those who avoid eating it can be at risk of y g hof heat, rye and oid developing other dietary deficiencies.

DAIRY

Humans are the only mammals to have evolved with the ability to digest lactose as adults.

news@irishmirror.ie e

Lemons taste sour because lemon juice contains about 5-6% citric acid

CAPTION(S):

EXPLOSIVE FINDINGS Apples and peanuts are used to make deadly materials while gluten in bread is an important part of a healthy diet

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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 13, 2015
Words:406
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