Australian company develops technology to keep avocados from going brown

Avocado rose
CC BY 2.0 Joy

Appropriately enough, the device is called the Avocado Time Machine.

What could be worse, food-wise, than the disappointment of cutting open what you think is a great looking avocado, only to find that the inside is brown and unappealing? OK, so there are probably some other contenders for food disappointment, but not many that could essentially ruin your chances at making an award-winning guacamole for your next dinner party.

The good news is, an Australia-based company, Naturo Technologies, has developed what it calls an "all natural processing technology" that is said to effectively stop the browning of freshly cut avocado and to extend the shelf life of it for "a minimum" of 10 days.

The bad news is that it won't do much for you if you like your avocados uncut, and it might be some time before you start seeing unbrowned cut avocados for sale at your local supermarket.

The company's Natavo Zero™ technology doesn't use any sort of additives or preservatives to delay the browning of avocado flesh, as it relies on the ability "to switch off the enzyme responsible for the fruit’s browning via pressure fluctuations generated by steam." According to the company, this technology preserves the taste and nutritional properties of the avocado, and the process is also said to eliminate potential pathogens (which can be an issue with pre-cut fruit and vegetables).

"By understanding the avocado’s lifecycle and the complex correlation of enzymes involved in the browning process, we have made it possible for the world to enjoy 100% natural, ready-to-eat avocado slices, dices, chunks or pulped products while retaining the flavor and fresh taste of avocado, without browning. All products stay fresh for a minimum of 10 days when refrigerated, even after the packaging has been opened. That is very good news for the avocado industry and for the consumer." - Jeff Hastings, Naturo

Avocado Time Machine, from Naturo© Naturo
The "Avocado Time Machine" built by Naturo is said to be capable of processing cut or pulped avocados at the rate of 4,000 per hour (that's a lot of guacemole), and to do so in a cost-effective and energy efficient manner, which could allow avocado producers access to new markets for their products.

Tags: Fruits & Vegetables

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