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I am fairly familiar with avocados. I buy and consume them regularly. But recently I encountered one that was quite the head scratcher. I normally buy green ones and leave them on my kitchen counter to ripen. This one too turned from green to dark green/blackish in a few days-everything went according to plan just like every other avocado I had. But when I opened it today it was soft and smushy in some parts but rubbery in some other parts. And it's uneven: although most parts near the pit were solid, some parts attached to the skin were also hard/unripe. So it wasn't layered. The flesh had a very healthy, normal green so it puzzled me even further since it didn't seem to have gone bad.

I don't think there'd been physical trauma. I don't remember dropping it. And it was certainly a solid happy green avocado all around when I bought it.


Update:

I put the avocado, already halved and peeled, in an airtight container with some mango peel and mango chucks, as I expect them to release ethylene. Doesn't mango peel turn black? My understanding is that is the result of itself releasing ethylene after being peeled off the fruit. So I put it in a container together with the cut-open avocado and some lime juice for anti oxidation. It's been two days and a good part of the avocado is still rubbery. I don't even know if my idea has worked...

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  • I've had this happen, too, especially with the cheapest avocados. I have no idea how it works.
    – Cerberus
    Jun 14, 2023 at 3:13

2 Answers 2

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Avocados are naturally hard/rubbery/soapy when picked. They only ripen once they have been picked. Picking them damages the fruit near the stem, which signals the avocado to release ethylene, which is the fruit's cue to ripen. (similar to how bananas ripen.) The self-produced ethylene near the stem and environmental ethylene in the air enter the fruit through the exterior peel.

The peel is bumpy, with natural valleys for ethylene to gather. The fruit therefore ripens in a radial pattern from these points. You can see that sometimes in an overripe avocado, where the brown/mushy spots pull away from the fruit, leaving it somewhat like a golf ball with divots. The pit area is generally last to ripen.

Many commercial avocados are treated with wax to slow ripening. If that waxy coating is abraded in some places but intact in others, there will only be a few places where the ethylene cues the fruit to ripen. So there will be a streaky/uneven ripening, with the same general color inside, but some areas remaining hard and soapy.

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  • Isn't packing the avocado at the sides of the box a more likely culprit, then? That would mean that it's exposed to ethylene from the other avocados on one side but not the other.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jun 15, 2023 at 18:15
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It's not uncommon to encounter avocados with uneven ripening or texture variations. Avocados can sometimes exhibit different textures and consistencies, even within a single fruit. Several factors could contribute to the unusual texture you observed in the avocado:

  1. Ripeness at the time of purchase: Avocados continue to ripen after being harvested. If the avocado was already quite ripe when you purchased it, it's possible that the variations in texture were a result of uneven ripening.

  2. Internal factors: The texture variations you observed could be due to natural variations in the fruit's structure, such as differences in the thickness of the fruit's walls or the presence of different avocado tissue types.

  3. Fruit maturity: Avocados are typically picked before they are fully mature to prevent damage during transportation. If the avocado was not fully mature when harvested, it might have had variations in texture during the ripening process.

While it can be puzzling to encounter an avocado with such variations in texture, it's generally not a cause for concern unless there are signs of spoilage or off odors.

Hope this helps.

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  • Hi, I don't know who downvoted your answer. It wasn't me. So you shouldn't have taken it out on me and downvoted my question.
    – desmo
    Jun 14, 2023 at 16:43
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    @desmo Just as you don't know who downvoted this answer, you don't know who downvoted your question. Let's not let the fact that one or more people cast downvotes turn into anything adversarial between you and someone who tried to help you out!
    – Cascabel
    Jun 14, 2023 at 21:39
  • @Cascabel Sure. I was going out on a limb, venturing a guess based solely on my observation and experience. However much several indicators make my guess highly likely it could still be off the mark, I admit. But revenge downvoting is a serious problem and I don't believe there's a way to address that yet on the part of moderators or community members. In the event that had been the case (which has happened to me before on other sites) I thought my comment could serve as a remind for the answerer.
    – desmo
    Jun 14, 2023 at 22:08
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    Revenge downvoting can be a problem, but it's not that big of a scale, and the reputation losses are easily outweighed by upvotes. Getting adversarial in comments is a bigger problem.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 14, 2023 at 22:11
  • This answer talks without saying anything. The question is literally asking about uneven ripeness and your first point says it might be caused by uneven ripeness! Do you have any support for the 2nd point? What even is the "fruit wall" of an avocado, the peel? On the 3rd point you say it could be caused by picking fruit that was not mature, but also state that is the typical practice! Sorry in advance if I'm off the mark, but this answer feels like it was AI-generated or copied from an SEO content farm page. growhackscale.com/glossary/content-farming Oct 10, 2023 at 15:03

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