The onion is a hardy biennial with a bulb and hollow leaves. Green-white flowers are produced in summer. The fresh and dried bulb is used, as well as the fresh juice. It is grown underground by the plant as a vertical shoot that is used for food storage. Onions, one of the oldest vegetables, are found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world's cultures.
Dehydrated Onion :
They are now available in fresh, frozen, canned, caramelized, pickled, powdered, chopped, and dehydrated forms. Dehydrated onion is produced by removing the water from raw onions. This is followed by milling or separating to specific particle size. Before drying, the roots and tops of the onion are removed, the onion is cleaned and peeled and the materials are washed and sliced. Onion powder is made from finely ground dehydrated onions, mainly the pungent varieties of bulb onions, which causes the powder to have a very strong smell.
Onions are one of the most prevalent vegetables/spices in cuisines across the world. Rarely used as a main dish, onions often play the sidekick adding a distinct flavor to many meals, without dominating. Onions complement almost every savory dish and can be used in practically every way, cooked, raw, chopped, minced, pulverized, etc. Dehydrated onion are used in ethnic food preparations, dry soups mixes, canned, dry or frozen vegetable mixes, sauces, dry casserole mixes, food service & fast foods etc. Onion powder is a spice used for seasoning in cooking. Onion can also be added to curries, marinades, soups, stocks.
Onion is a pungent herb, protecting against infection, relaxing spasms, reducing blood pressure as well as blood clotting and blood sugar levels. It further has expectorant and diuretic properties & contains a range of sulfur containing compounds - sulfoxides (cyteinesulfoxide, isomer of alliin) and cepaenes. It is often used for minor digestive disturbances and is also used for bronchial and gastric infections. Furthermore it also shows good results in preventing age-related changes in blood vessels - arteriosclerosis, as well as to treat loss of appetite. Externally, poultices can be made from raw onion for acne and boils. These are used for wounds and scars as well. Although an oil is made from onions, it is used in industry for flavoring.
Onions are said to have positive effects on the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, bones and blood sugar. They are high in anti-oxidants and may even prevent some types of cancer. Use topically they may help prevent/treat acne, hemorrhoids, boils, and other skin irritations. Onions have been used to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol ,elevate ‘good’ cholesterol , as an antiseptic, reduce inflammation, reduce bacterial growth ,as a diuretic, inhibit tumor growth, maintain healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis, lower blood sugar, relive common cold symptoms, prevent diabetes, prevent gastric ulcers ,as a source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber.