Avocados are the top nature’s super food, there’s no question about that. For one thing, this green-skinned fruit with creamy texture and mild flavor is packed with nutrients including vitamins and fiber. It’s no wonder avocados have become a staple ingredient in every kitchen. But, it often happens that you just want a slice or two. So, what do you do with the rest of the fruit?
All avocado lovers will know that refrigerating is not an option as the avocado will turn brown and slimy the next morning.
Why Does Avocado Turn Brown?
An enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) found in avocado is the reason why avocado flesh browns quickly when exposed to air. When the phenols found in abundance in avocado come in contact with oxygen, PPO stimulates their rapid oxidization into quinones. It’s the smaller molecules of quinone which form a long chain of polymers called polyphenols.
This polymerization turns the avocado flesh brown. Thus is not the case with avocadoes only as all fruits containing phenols including apples will act the same. So, if you want to prevent the fruit form browning, you need to delay this reaction.
Is It Safe To Eat Browned Avocados?
Although a slightly browned avocado is safe to eat, unless you mind the bitter flavor or the rancid odor, it’s still better to just remove the brown part and eat the rest of the flesh. However, the oxidization process results in potential bacteria and mold proliferation, so if your cut avocado has been lying in the open for a long time, you’d better throw it away.
How To Store A Cut Avocado?
These are some useful tips how to keep an avocado fresh.
#1 Store It With Chopped Onions
The most beneficial method for preserving the freshness of avocadoes is to refrigerate the cut avocado with chopped onions. The thing is onion, when cut, releases sulphur dioxide, which is an effective inhibitor of polyphenol oxidase and is widely used to control enzyme-caused browning.
This method can actually preserve avocados for up to five days.
#2 Deep Freeze It At 5oC
Another effective method to inhibit enzyme-caused browning of avocados is to store the fresh-cut avocado at 5ºC. When stored at this temperature, the softening and the darkening of the pulp is reduced, a study found. This method can keep avocados fresh for five days.
#3 Dab It With Lime Juice
Lime juice is extremely effective for preventing browning of cut fruits. Sprinkling or dabbing lime or lemon juice on the exposed area of the fruit ensures freshness for a relatively longer period. According to a study, a mixture of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and citric acid inhibits 90–100% PPO. Both limes and lemons are rich in these acids, meaning they can protect the avocado surface from browning by inhibiting the activity of polyphenol oxidase. This method keeps avocados fresh for minimum 2 days.
#4 Plastic-Wrap It Or Store In An Airtight Box
As avocados, and other fruits, turn brown because of the substances in the fruit pulp reacting with oxygen, minimizing this contact with air, you actually reduce the oxidization of the fruit. For best results tightly cover the unused portion with a plastic wrap, making sure to keep out any air bubbles then refrigerate. An airtight container can also be used for a similar effect. An airtight container will keep avocados fresh for a day.