Have you ever asked yourself why avocado rot during ripening? Immature avocado tends to rot upon ripening due to moisture content that encourages the growth of spoilage microorganisms, thus the need to pick fruits that meets the parameters. Avocado has become a green-gold delicacy that almost everyone enjoys in the diet due to its palatability and health benefits.
Harvesting indices influence the quality of ripened avocado. The harvester should only pick avocado when it has reached the physiological maturity stage. The indicators are dry matter, moisture, and oil content. Ovens, moisture analyzer model VPB-10 machine are used to determine the indices. The dry matter should be at least 21% and moisture content of 76-78%. It should have an oil content of 10-19 levels.
By using a VPB-10 moisture analyzer; Cut the avocado fruit into longitudinal half. Remove the seed and the membrane. Then peel off the skin and grate into fine particles. Subject 10g of the gratings on the machine and evenly spread on the machine plate. Depending on the temperature set, the moisture level, and how fine the particles are, one test can run for 20-30 minutes. Readings for moisture content are direct on the machine. Subtract this from 100% to get the dry matter. For oil content, use a formula using the constant variety factor, and moisture content attained. E.g., the Variety factor for Hass is 88; moisture attained, e.g., 77%(direct reading from moisturizer). Oil content for this fruit would be 88-77=11. The dry matter would be 100-77=23.
Besides these analytical methods for determining the maturity of green Hass avocado for ripening, the simple organoleptic tests can be verified at the orchard during picking by the harvester. A mature green avocado skin should be clean with no glossy shine, Rough, firm to touch, dark green colour with yellowish tint on the fruit stem end. The shape is usually oval. The stalk attached to the fruit turns yellowish at the apex of the fruit, firmly bound.
Take a sample of one fruit and cut it into longitudinal halves; the inner flesh should be pale green with a creamy texture. The seed coat is thin and brown, which separates easily from the coat. Ripe green avocado has a nutty & creamy taste. Immature fruit has a bitter/chemical aroma, while mature has a nutty flavour.
Hass avocado is in great demand in the local and international markets. The harvesting stage can ruin or build the business or result in the incubation of spoilage microorganisms during ripening that causes food poisoning in the supply chain. Its key to harvest only when indices have been attained.
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