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How To Slow Ripening


How do avocados ripen?

Avocados are different to other fruits. Unlike apples and oranges, avocados do not ripen on the tree. They ripen after they are taken off.

The best ripening temperature is about 18-22°C. Ripening them at higher temperatures increases the risk of damage to the flesh. Holding hard green fruit in the fridge (about 5°C) will almost stop ripening.

Like bananas and mangoes, avocado ripening is triggered by ethylene and it produces ethylene as it ripens.


What is Ethylene Gas?

Ethylene gas is a natural plant hormone and ripening agent that is produced by most plants. It causes seeds to sprout, plants to flower and fruit to ripen. The more ethylene gas that the avocado produces or is exposed to at the start of ripening, the quicker it softens.

Avocados have a high ethylene production rate and are also highly sensitive to other high ethylene producing fruits. Have you ever noticed that an avocado will ripen quicker next to an apple or a banana? That’s because they both produce ethylene and this ethylene causes the fruit to ripen faster together, than if they were separate.

Ethylene triggers the start of the ripening process. Ethylene has little further effect once the fruit has started to ripen.


So, how to slow an avocado from ripening

The easiest and best way to slow your avocado ripening is to put it in the fridge. Avocado ripening is slower at colder temperatures.

Storing your fresh, hard avocados away from other fruit such and bananas and apples, or old fruit or vegetables, can reduce exposure to ethylene.

Putting your avocado on bench top is fine if you are going to eat it within a day or two, but it’s great to know if you have a couple floating around, put one in the fridge to ensure it won’t spoil before you get a chance to eat it. Be careful though, if avocado fruit have just started to soften, don’t put them in the fridge for more than 1-2 days. These fruit are more sensitive to low temperatures. It is better to wait for the fruit to soften a little more, then place them in the fridge.

You can’t stop an avocado from ripening forever, you can only slow it down.


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