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How Do You Keep an Avocado Fresh?

Monday, October 21st, 2019
fresh green avocado

There is nothing worse than mushy brown avocado. But sometimes you can’t use the whole thing, so what next? How do you save what’s left of the previous green meat of this beloved buttery fruit? 

Why Do Avocados Turn Brown?

To sum it up, oxidation. This is what happens when the surface of a fruit like avocado comes into contact with oxygen. The reaction between enzymes and air is the process of oxidation and is what causes the brown coloring of a fruit. The oxidation is generally limited to just the surface area of the avocado, leaving the rest of the fruit untouched. 

The enzyme that causes the brown layer to emerge is called polyphenol oxidase. It’s theorized to be a defense mechanism found in many fruits. When a fruit is damaged, the brown spot is the telltale clue that helps to ward off any animals from eating it. Interestingly, the brown layer is a sort of antibacterial that prevents the spread of bacteria in the damaged plant. 

Ways to Keep Avocados Fresh

fresh green avocados

To keep an avocado from turning brown, the key is to limit its exposure to oxygen. That being said, you can try any of the following solutions to prevent browning. 

Seal It Up Tight With Plastic Wrap

Tightly wrap any remaining avocado slices with plastic wrap. This will create an air-tight seal that will prevent oxidation.

Squirt a Little Lemon Juice 

A little bit of lemon juice squirted on avocado is another good way to prevent oxidation. This is because of lemon’s ascorbic acid properties. Ascorbic acid is a form of vitamin c that takes the form of an organic compound. The oxygen will react with the acid in the lemon juice before it reacts with the oxidizing enzyme found within avocado. Think of the lemon juice as a shield for the tender avocado fruit. However, this is not a long-lasting solution. When the lemon juice’s ascorbic acid is completely activated, the oxygen will begin to cause the enzyme to react.

Cut Up An Onion

Cut a few chunks of a large onion to place in a container that has a lid. Put the leftover avocado in the container and seal it with the lid. The onion will release gases that help prevent oxidation. To preserve the flavor, be sure that the onion only comes into contact with the skin of the avocado, and not the fruit itself.

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