University of California

Ask the Produce Docs (Commodity)

Do you have ideas that could be used to extend the shelf life of avocados in Uganda?

Category
  • Avocado
Question

I was recently in Uganda and found that the region has a lot avocado trees. They produce more fruit than the people in the region can eat before they go bad. As you know, this is a third world country and electricity is only available in the larger cities (most of the time). Is there a simple process that can be used to increase the shelf life of the avocados, may be like the one used on Washington apples?  (S.H.)

Answer

I am sorry to say, without refrigeration you do not have much hope of stopping avocados from ripening.  Once they are off the tree and not refrigerated they will ripen.  How fast will depend on how mature they are.  The best way to store avocados is on the tree.  Most varieties have a 2 to 4 month harvest window; some varieties, like the Hass will hang successfully on the tree for even longer.  One possibility for use of the excess fruit would be to make avocado oil.  Avocados have very fine oil, of similar quality to olive oil.

Mary Lu Arpaia

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