To squeeze or not to squeeze: Why your avocado ripe test may be all wrong

It’s the supermarket practice nearly every avocado lover is guilty of, but a new study has revealed your testing methods are likely to be doing more harm than good.

While it might feel like second nature to make your way through the tray, pressing down on each avocado until you find one to your liking, a Queensland study says there are simpler and less damaging ways to get that guacamole goodness.

With Australia’s avocado love affair showing no signs of fading, the study by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF), in collaboration with The University of Queensland and Avocados Australia has gone to great lengths to convince consumers of their reckless handling techniques.

Ninety-seven per cent of survey participants admitted to squeezing the fruit before they purchased, while also testing three times more fruit than they actually purchase.

Australian avo lovers are being too rough with their beloved fruit. Source: Getty
Australian avo lovers are being too rough with their beloved fruit. Source: Getty

“It has been found that shoppers typically apply compression forces ranging from 3 to 30 Newtons (N) to firm-ripe avocado fruit when assessing ripeness,” QDAF lead researcher Professor Daryl Joyce said.

“For context, a 'slight' thumb compression of 10N applied to a firm-ripe fruit causes bruising to appear within 48 hours at 20°C.”

While shoppers may feel compelled to run their fingers over the entire piece of fruit, Avocados Australia chief executive John Tyas said they should instead gently press the stem end only.

"Your store-bought avocado should ripen within a few days as the ripening process will have already begun. If you want to be sure, simply put the fruit in a bag with a banana," Mr Tyas said.

"However, if the fruit has already started to ripen this will not make it ripen any quicker."

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