Research may deliver bruise-free avocados

Jul 18, 2013

Researchers may soon understand more about why avocados are often bruised when they come home from the grocery store.

A joint project between The University of Queensland's School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and the Queensland Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry hopes to reduce consumer disappointment with bruised fruit, and benefit the industry with higher sales.

Consumers have reported that one in three avocados is a disappointment and that they would purchase more if they had confidence in the product.

UQ PhD student Muhammad Sohail Mazhar has followed avocados through the supply chain from ripener, distribution centre, to retailer. He discovered that most flesh bruising occurs at the retail .

"A bruise in an avocado fruit can continue to grow and intensify for up to 96 hours," Mr Mazhar said.

"This was established by using a machine at UQ's Centre for Advanced Imaging to examine the bruised flesh of whole avocados over time.

"The next stage of my doctorate will look carefully at shoppers' and consumers' contributions to bruising the avocado fruit in the retail store and at home and also into methods to reduce this occurring."

UQ's Professor Daryl Joyce believes that "decision-aid tools" and education initiatives to help shoppers choose fruit in the store may be the solution.

"Precise firmness-testing machines for avocados already exist in laboratories," Professor Joyce said.

"If we could adapt such devices for use in supermarkets, shoppers could learn how many days away the piece of is from being ready to eat, without them having to squeeze it.

"A cost-effective firmness-testing device – combined with educating store staff, shoppers and consumers – could well be the answer to giving us many more bruise-free avocados," he said.

Explore further: Sexual selection isn't the last word on bird plumage, study shows

Related Stories

Challenges and opportunities of omni-channel retailing

Nov 07, 2012

Shoppers are becoming increasingly comfortable interacting with retailers across multiple channels, creating pressure for retailers to offer seamless integration across multiple touch points and giving rise ...

Retailers should referee customer conflict

Jun 11, 2013

A new study by UBC's Sauder School of Business says retailers should consider admonishing queue jumpers and thoughtless store browsers to ease aggression between shoppers.

South African firm to market 'GEM' avocados

May 13, 2011

The University of California, Riverside, has signed an exclusive license agreement with Westfalia Fruit Estates, a South African company, to market ‘GEM,' an avocado variety developed by UC Riverside ...

Augmented reality makes shopping more personal

Jul 03, 2012

While in-store shopping accounts for 92 percent of retail volume, consumers are expecting the same levels of personalization and customization that they do when they shop online; 58 percent of consumers want ...

Recommended for you

Cats relax to the sound of music

2 hours ago

According to research published today in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery by veterinary clinicians at the University of Lisbon and a clinic in the nearby town of Barreiro in Portugal, music is likew ...

Fruit flies crucial to basic research

4 hours ago

The world around us is full of amazing creatures. My favorite is an animal the size of a pinhead, that can fly and land on the ceiling, that stages an elaborate (if not beautiful) courtship ritual, that can ...

Crete's mystery croc killed by cold snap

4 hours ago

A man-eating crocodile that became an attraction on the Greek island of Crete last year after its mysterious appearance in a lake has died, probably of cold, an official said Monday.

Hunting for living fossils in Indonesian waters

4 hours ago

The Coelacanth (Latimeria menadoensis) was thought to be extinct for more than 60 million years and took the science world by storm in 1938 when it was re-discovered living in South Africa. This fish has ...

An elephant never forgets the way to the watering hole

6 hours ago

A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B tracked the movement of elephants across the African savannah. The elephants chose the shortest distances towards watering holes, pin-pointing the lo ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.