Can you eat dark avocado?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat dark avocado?”, and how to tell if an avocado is bad?

Can you eat dark avocado?

Yes, you can eat a dark avocado. Different types of avocado varieties exhibit different and colored upon ripening. The Hass avocado naturally has a very dark rind when it is at the peak of ripeness. You might confuse the dark color of such an avocado with spoilage but it is not true.

The dark inner flesh of the avocado is a sign that the avocado has suffered a mechanical injury during harvest, processing, or distribution. The mechanical injury damages or weakens the tissue. A weak tissue starts to decay and turn brown. 

Another possibility is that a mold or fungus found its way into the avocado, most probably through the stem, when the avocado suffered a mechanical injury. The weakened tissue makes it easy for the fungus to seep through and damage the flesh.

Whatever may be the case, it is generally okay to cut out the brown spots of avocado flesh if they are small and isolated. When in doubt, throw it out.

How to tell if an avocado is bad?

Look at the outer skin of the avocado

A severely dented, marked, or squashed avocado cannot be salvaged. Similarly, an avocado with discolored outer skin with fuzzy spots is an indication that the avocado is moldy.

Check the color 

A blackened avocado has gone bad. The Hass variety of avocado should have a dark green or purple color when ripe. Other varieties of avocado like Bacon, Fuerte, Gwen, Pinkerton, Reed, and Zutano maintain a green color when ripe.

Apply gentle pressure on the avocado 

Gently press the avocado with your fingertips. It gives in slightly to the pressure, it is good to go. If the application of pressure leaves an indent in the avocado skin, it has gone bad. 

Check the stem of the avocado 

If the stem of the avocado can be easily pulled out, the avocado is ripe. When the stem is pulled out, the flesh of the avocado is exposed. 

Although the color of the flesh is a good parameter for judging the quality of an avocado, the exposed surface area in this particular case is very small to pass the judgment. 

Pulling the stem to check the quality of the avocado is not a good practice when you are buying the avocado from the store.

Cut the avocado open 

If you have bought the avocado, you can quickly determine its freshness by removing the rind. If the color of the avocado flesh is anything but light green, it has gone bad. If the avocado has small and isolated discolored spots, it can be salvaged after cutting out the affected spots.

Taste the avocado 

If you are still in doubt after using the above-mentioned inspection methods, you can rely on your taste buds. Taste-check a small amount of the pale green part of the avocado. 

Ideally, the avocado should have a creamy, mild, and slightly sweet taste. If it tastes otherwise, it has gone bad.

How to keep the avocados fresh?

Avoid overripe avocados by storing them correctly

Fully ripe avocados, that will not be eaten anytime soon, should always be refrigerated. An uncut and ripe avocado will keep good for about 3-4 days at room temperature. When refrigerated, the same avocado will last 7-10 days.

Store cut avocado to preserve freshness

If the cut avocado is not to be consumed immediately, refrigerate it after wrapping it in cling film and putting it in an air-tight container. 

Toss the avocado flesh in some lemon juice before wrapping it in plastic will preserve the pale green color of the avocado. The acid from the lemon juice prevents oxidation and enzymatic browning

An oxidized avocado appears brown and is completely safe to eat. You can scrape off the top brown surface of the avocado and salvage the rest of the pale green goodness. 

Safety of overripe avocados 

The type of decay and the extend of the decay are the two parameters that determine the safety of the overripe avocados. The browning of an avocado starts from the stem and progresses towards the bottom or broad part of an avocado. 

So, if the browning has just set in, you may be able to salvage the bottom part of an avocado. The discolored areas or spots are better off discarded. Similarly, a rancid, sour-smelling, and moldy avocado should be discarded. 

If the avocado flesh has turned mushy but shows no signs of spoilage, use it in guacamole, smoothies, salad dressing, and baked goods.

Other FAQs about Avocado that you may be interested in.

How to know which avocado to buy? (3 tips)

How long does avocado last once cut?

How to soften a cut avocado ( 5 ways)


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat dark avocado?”, and how to tell if an avocado is bad?


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