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How Do Restaurants Keep Avocados From Turning Brown

How Do Restaurants Keep Avocados From Turning Brown? (2022)

Last Updated on October 3, 2022 by Shari Mason

Avocados are undeniably delicious and enhance almost any recipe. They are best for Mexican food, freshly made guacamole, or salad dressing. 

However, it quickly turns brown once you cut avocado, and brown avocado doesn’t look appetizing. So how do restaurants keep avocados from turning brown?

Top 4 Ways Restaurants Keep Avocados Green

fresh organic avocado on the wooden table

1. Leave The Pit

Avocados contain a polyphenol oxidase enzyme or PPO enzyme that causes the browning of the fruit when exposed to oxygen. 

Browning happens to the flesh of the avocado that is exposed to air, but not the part underneath the pit. This is because the pit serves as a barrier and keeps the air away from the avocado. So, do the pit method to keep your sliced avocados green.

If there’s any green surface that becomes brown, remove the brown part before eating the fruit.

2. Seal in Plastic Wrap

If you have an avocado half, cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from browning. This creates an airtight seal that keeps your sliced avocado green. 

If you want to remove the pit, carefully press the clingfilm along the well to ensure it’s tightly sealed.

3. Brush with Olive Oil

Creating a barrier can prevent the oxygen from being in contact with the green flesh of the avocado. One way to create a barrier is to brush the exposed surface of the avocado with oil. 

Drizzle the surface of the fruit with a visible layer of vegetable oil. Then, seal it in an airtight container. This method slows down the browning process and lasts for about a day.

4. Soak in Water

The water bath method prevents the sliced avocado from oxygen exposure. Place the avocado slices in a bowl filled with cold water. 

Keeping avocados submerged in water for not more than 4 hours will keep the avocado from turning brown. This is the method most chefs use when preparing avocados in advance.

Meanwhile, if you have a whole avocado, you can submerge them in water and keep them in the fridge. This method will keep the avocado fresh for a week. 

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Will Lemon Juice Help?

women squeezing lemon

Yes, lemon juice will help. Lemon or lime juice has a naturally occurring organic compound called ascorbic acid. It’s a commonly known form of Vitamin C. 

This method works well because the acid shields the surface of the avocado from oxygen. Lime or lemon juice contains antioxidants, which slow down browning.

Oxidation Turns Avocado Brown

The brown layer on the surface of avocado is because of the enzyme called polyphenol oxidase or PPO enzyme. This enzyme can be found in many fruits.

When exposed to oxygen, PPO enzymes change phenolic compounds to quinones through oxidation. Then, quinones react with other compounds, forming melanin. 

Melanin turns fruits and vegetable brown. However, this doesn’t happen in fresh fruits and only occurs when phenolic compounds come in contact with oxygen. [1]

The brown layer has an antibacterial effect, preventing bacteria from harming the damaged plant.

FAQs

How long will an avocado last once cut?

Once cut, an avocado can retain freshness for up to 3 to 4 days when refrigerated. To delay the browning process, create a barrier by brushing the avocado with oil or lime juice. You can also mash it and quickly vacuum seal it.

Why do avocados turn brown after slicing?

Avocados turn brown after slicing because of oxidation. They contain PPO enzymes that cause the green avocado flesh to become brown when it comes in contact with oxygen. However, you can keep a sliced avocado green with onions.

How do restaurants know avocado is no longer safe to eat?

Restaurants know the avocado is unsafe to eat when it has brown or black spots on the flesh. This means the fruit is rotten. If there are dark streaks on the avocado’s meat, it’s also a sign of rotting. 

Another sign that the fruit is not safe to eat is the texture. Overripe avocados have a mushy texture. The fruits may be rotting and are no longer safe to eat.

Let’s Sum It Up

Avocados are delicious, creamy, and perfect for guacamole as a dip for Mexican food, spread, or dressing for salads. However, because of oxidation, the fruit or the guacamole turns brown. Luckily, there are ways to keep guacamole green. Nobody wants brown guacamole.

Aside from the four ways listed above, another secret restaurant used to keep guacamole from turning brown is using onion. Onion is the avocado’s BFF or Brown Fighting Friend. 

Onions contain sulfur compounds that delay guacamole from turning brown. Just sprinkle the guacamole with onion on top and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate and simply mix the onions when you feel like eating the guacamole.

The five methods mentioned in the article should help your avocado stay green.

Reference:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fruits-gone-bad-discover-enzymatic-browning/
Shari Mason

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