‘Lasts for 12 days!’ Stop an avocado from going brown with clever food storage hack

Food hack: TikTok user shows how to 'save half of an avocado'

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Avocados are in currently in season, and they are a grocery item loved by millions. But, this fruit is tricky to store. Express.co.uk spoke to Tash Blythe, food hygiene expert at High Speed Training about the best ways to store avocados to keep them fresh for as long as possible. She also revealed how to stop the green flesh of the avocado from going brown, once cut in half. 

Avocados seem to be hard one day, and over ripe the next. 

Tash spoke about how long the average avocado actually lasts: “This depends on how ripe the avocado is when it is purchased.

“You can tell how ripe an avocado is by touch – an unripe avocado is firm to the touch whereas a ripe avocado will feel softer when pressed. If it is unripe when purchased, the avocado may take up to a week to ripen, whereas an uncut ripe avocado may be at its best for a maximum of three days.” 

As for how you can make an avocado last longer, the expert said: “Make sure to keep your avocados away from ripe fruit, such as bananas, as this will ripen the avocado much faster and it won’t last as long. 

“Alternatively, if you want to ripen an avocado quickly you can place it in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple.”

And where should avocados be kept? 

“An unripe avocado is best stored at room temperature, and if you place it in the fridge too quickly, it may never ripen,” Tash commented. 

“Once an avocado is ripe, store it in the refrigerator to keep it ripe for longer and prevent it from spoiling too quickly. 

“A ripe avocado stored in the fridge will be at its best for two to three days.” 

Tash also revealed whether there is a certain place to put the ripe avocado in the fridge. 

She said: “Each food group should be stored in a certain place in your fridge to prevent cross-contamination.

“An avocado is a ‘ready-to-eat’ food which means it is not required to be heated or processed further before eating. 

“For this reason, it shouldn’t be stored below raw meat, or on the same shelf, otherwise juices may drip onto the avocado. 

“If you have a salad drawer or other ready to eat salad or fruit items, you can keep your avocado with them.” 

Not everyone consumes a whole avocado, but how can you stop the other half of it from going brown? 

“If you need to store an avocado that has already been cut, squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the exposed flesh and store it in an airtight container or cling film to prevent it from going brown,” the expert suggested. 

“An avocado going brown after it has been cut is not a sign of spoilage, it is just a chemical reaction where the flesh reacts with the oxygen in the atmosphere. 

“Though it may look unappetising, it is still safe to eat. 

“The lemon or lime juice prevents browning because the citric acid acts as a natural preservative by reacting with the oxygen instead of the avocado itself reacting.

“Some suggest placing it in water, some douse the avocado flesh in lemon juice, others place it in an air-tight container, or use clingfilm. 

“We also recommend leaving the pip, or stone, in the cut avocado as this will prevent all of the flesh from browning, just be sure to remove it before eating.”

So if you buy an unripe avocado, which then ripens in seven days, before storing it in the fridge for another three days, before then dousing it in lemon juice, you could expect a cut avocado to last for around 12 days. 

What about freezing an avocado? 

“Store-bought frozen avocados are likely to have undergone a rapid freezing process. The faster the freezing process, the smaller the formation of ice crystals, which means the structure of the food will remain more intact compared to a slower freezing process,” Tash explained. 

“You are unlikely to get the same results using a domestic freezer at home, though it is perfectly safe to do so. 

“Freezing avocados at home is a fantastic way to reduce food waste if you would throw it away otherwise, and frozen avocados are perfect for making dips such as guacamole or smoothies with!”

As for how long frozen avocados last, Tash added: “Frozen avocados should be used within three to six months of being frozen to ensure they are at their best.”

Find out about food hygiene courses or read more about reheating food safely at https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/food-hygiene/. 

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