How to tell if an avocado is rotten? (5 ways how)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to tell if an avocado is rotten?”, and how to safely store avocados to prevent spoilage?

How to tell if an avocado is rotten? 

The following parameters can tell you if the avocado is rotten or not.

Mushy texture

Avocado should yield slightly to the gentle press of your palms. If it does not give even a little bit, it is underripe. If it has mushy spots all over, it has started to rot.

Blackened rind

Ripe avocados should appear dark green or brown. If they start to turn black, they have started to rot. This is only applicable for Hass avocados. Avocado varieties like Zutano and Fuerte stay green even if they are fully ripe.

Dark and stringy flesh

If the avocado has black or brown spots or dark streaks in its flesh, it is rotten. If the flesh is fibrous but appears and tastes fine, it may not necessarily be rotten. Similarly, an avocado that comes from young trees has dark streaks, therefore, dark streaks or fibrous flesh alone is not a sure sign of spoilage.

Off flavor or odor

If the avocado gives off a sour or rancid smell instead of fruit and nutty odor, it is spoiled. The rancidity occurs due to the oxidation of the unsaturated fats present in the fruit. Rancidity results in the production of potentially dangerous compounds, therefore, never consume a rancid avocado.

Mold growth

If the avocado has white or grey spots over the rind or in the flesh, discard it right away. Do not whiff it, the fungus spores may irritate your breathing system upon inhaling especially if you are allergic to them.

How to buy the best avocado?

Avocados ripen once they are off the tree. So a fresh avocado should feel firm all over the surface or soft throughout. Like any other fruit, always avoid buying an avocado that has pits, blemishes, or any bruises on its skin.

Shake the fruit to check If you can hear the stone moving inside. Never buy an avocado with a loose pit.

How to refrigerate avocado safely?

Whole, unpeeled Ripe avocados can be stored in the fridge for a week. Once the fruit is cut and deseeded, the quality degradation speeds up. To slow it down and prevent browning of the fruit flesh due to oxidation, put the cut fruit in the fridge.

Before doing so, brush the exposed skin of the fruit with some critic acid(lemon/lime/orange juice) to retard browning. Then wrap it up in cling film. You could also use silicon-based avocado savers to keep the half-cut fruit in the fridge.

How to store chopped avocado in the fridge?

Yes, you can chop the fruit to portion size and toss it well after sprinkling it with some citrus juice. Put them in a plastic/Tupperware container. Make sure It is sealed tight and you are good to go.

How to refrigerate mashed avocado?

Mash up the fruit and mix in some citrus juice to preserve it. Place the mashed fruit inside a resealable bag. Press it down to spread evenly. Squeeze out all air. Seal it tight and put the bag in the fridge.

Can you store unripe avocado in the fridge?

It is not advisable to refrigerate unripely avocados. Doing so lengthens the ripening process of the fruit so much that the fruit can turn mushy and unfit for use before even ripening properly.

Can you freeze-store Avocados?

Freeze storing can extend the shelf life of avocados longer than refrigeration. Simply cut the fruit into cubes, toss it with lime or lemon juice, put it in the plastic zip-lock bag, and squeeze out all the air. Keep them in the freezer for later use.

Thaw for 30 minutes at room temperature or you can dip in water for 20 minutes or so before using. 

Health benefits of avocados

  1. Avocados are a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids that help promote cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol.
  2. Phytosterols and carotenoids present in avocados have excellent anti-oxidant properties that protect the cells from oxidative damage.
  3. High fiber and low sugar regulate blood sugar levels.
  4. The potassium in avocado helps counter the effects of sodium and prevents high blood pressure.
  5. Glutathione, an antioxidant, present in avocados boosts immune health.
  6. The folic acid in avocados prevents neural-tube defects in newborns.
  7. The high vitamin E and vitamin C content of avocados help rejuvenate and hydrate the skin and slow down aging.


In this article, we answered the question “How to tell if an avocado is rotten?”, and how to safely store avocados to prevent spoilage?


Sana Ameer

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.

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