Much of mankind's knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation through customs. Sometimes we know why it is convenient to do this or that, but we do not know the scientific explanation that allows these phenomena to occur. How much useful advice have grandmothers given us? Let's analyze some of them.
Separate bananas from the rest of the fruit
If you don't, everything will spoil faster. Bananas, like all fruits, synthesize a hormone called ethylene. This allows the fruit to ripen and has the characteristic of being a gas that diffuses in the air. Bananas produce more ethylene than other fruits and that is why, when you put them in the fruit bowl, they accelerate the ripening of the rest.
Soak beans in water overnight before cooking
This way they will cook faster and you will have less "gas". Beans cause "gas" because they contain sugar that is fermented by our intestinal flora. This sugar is soluble in water, and when we soak the beans for several hours before cooking, it dissolves in the water, and by discarding the water we get rid of the unpleasant "gas".
Drop the egg in a glass of water
If it floats then it is not good. When an egg begins to rot, its proteins decompose and gases are released, including hydrogen sulfide. The gases diffuse through the shell and the egg becomes less dense. As a result, the rotten egg is lighter and therefore floats.
Got bitten by mosquitoes?
Put a little meat tenderizer on the bites and you will see how the itching goes away. When mosquitoes bite, they inject a protein-based venom that causes a lot of itching. Meat tenderizer contains proteolytic enzymes, i.e. enzymes capable of breaking down proteins. When you put it on a bite, these enzymes break down the venom and thus prevent it from itching.
Put lemon juice on the avocado to keep it from turning black
Avocados, as well as apples, peaches, pears, and other fruits, darken when sliced. This is due to a substance, hydroquinone, which oxidizes when in contact with air. Lemon juice contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is an antioxidant and, in this case, prevents the hydroquinone in the avocado from reacting with oxygen in the air and thus turning black.
The wisdom of our ancestors is very valuable and it is important to preserve it. Knowing the scientific basis of these tips allows us to be confident in their effectiveness and to expand their use.