Want to know the secret behind the tasting smashed avocado on toast?
Prodding and squeezing them for ripeness does more harm than good, new research has revealed.
Around 97 percent of shoppers squeeze at least three avocados before putting them in the trolley, while only 42 per cent agree with the statement that ‘bad avocados have been handled or touched too much’.
A new study being conducted by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with University of Queensland and Avocados Australia aims to limit damage to avocados and find alternative ways for picky avo-addicts to identify ripeness.
Prodding and squeezing an avocado for ripeness does more harm than good, new research has revealed
Excessive squeezing or compression can cause avocado flesh to bruise within 24 hours
Excessive squeezing or compression can cause flesh to bruise within 24 hours, according to lead researcher Professor Bruce Joyce.
‘It has been found that shoppers typically apply compression forces ranging from 3 to 30 Newtons (N) to firm-ripe avocado fruit when assessing ripeness,’ he said.
‘For context, a ‘slight’ thumb compression of 10 N applied to a firm-ripe fruit causes bruising to appear within 48 hours at 20°C.’
Hort Innovation is funding the research.
‘Past research that has been conducted through Hort Innovation has identified various ways to ensure the careful handling of the fruit during the picking, packing and freight stages to ensure consumers are receiving the best quality avocados possible,’ Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said in a statement.
‘This new work looks beyond that at what studies have shown to be the most dangerous time for the fruit: when it is exposed to consumers.’
Prof Joyce is developing a prototype decision-aid machine that will alert shoppers to how ripe their chosen avocado is.
The research project is due for completion in May
As the device is still some time away from commercialisation, shoppers in the meantime can test avocados for ripeness by colour and feel.
Avocados do not ripen on the tree. They must be harvested before they begin to ripen
A new study being conducted by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with University of Queensland and Avocados Australia aims to limit damage to avocados and find alternative ways for picky avo-addicts to identify ripeness
‘When comparing a group of fresh avocados, check the outside color of the skin of the avocados for any that are darker in color than the others,’ the Love One Today website states.
‘These may be riper than fresh avocados with lighter skin. Check the outer skin of the avocado for any large indentations as this may be a sign that the fruit has been bruised.’
According to Avocados Australia, best way to test the fruit is to gently press the stem end only.
If unripe, avocados can take anywhere from two to seven days to ripen when stored at room temperature.
You can speed the ripening process by placing avocados in a paper bag with an apple for 2-3 days at room temperature.