We had some avocadoes which went bad. My stepmom said that, had we made them into guacamole the night before, they would have been edible today. Is this correct?

  • What else do you put in your guacamole? – user61524 Mar 12 '18 at 21:03
  • HelloJW101, the question you asked is interesting, and we are glad to have it. I must say though that your title was overly broad and covered thousands of different cases (with different answers). Also, we are a place which aims to provide neutral information on cooking facts. We are not here to say who was right in a family conflict. So I had to edit the title and text of your question, while leaving the actual cooking problem in there. – rumtscho Mar 13 '18 at 8:44
  • I wish you would better define almost-gone. – paparazzo Mar 13 '18 at 13:32

First, you have to distinguish between food safety issues and other ways of food "going bad". The likely thing is that your avocadoes were safe to eat (= not full of pathogenous bacteria) on the day you threw them out.

However, people cannot tell when food is full of bacteria, and tend to throw it out when it is too changed from its original state. Or they dislike the taste and texture of the changed state. This is common with fruit and vegetables. They are still alive after being picked, their metabolism goes on, but many of the necessary nutrients and water aren't delivered by the roots and stems any longer. So they change their color, taste and texture, and become mushy, wilted, or black,or change in other ways which people dislike, so they proclaim the produce "spoiled" and throw it away.

If this is what happened to the avocadoes, there is a good chance that making it into guacamole would have let you enjoy the avocadoes a day later. A pureed avocado doesn't metabolize the way a whole avocado does, and the changed pH and other ion concentration (salt) changes the chemical reactions going on in the cells. It is now no longer a living fruit, but prepared food. The pH and cold storage also inhibit mold from growing, which can happen on ripe fruit held at room temperature.

This is something specific to avocadoes and guacamole and not a generic statement about mixing random ingredients, you cannot make such generalizations in principle.


One factor here is that guacamole is almost always refrigerated.

If you refrigerate the avocado versus refrigerate the guacamole it is going to be pretty close if not favor the avocado (IMHO).

If you take the avocado at prime (just getting soft) I think the refrigerated avocado would hold up better than guacamole because the raw meat is protected from oxygen by the skin.

If it is going bad as in too soft but not rotting then I agree guac it and get another day or two.

  • 1
    I tend to toss my avacados in the fridge once they feel ripe (giving some when you squeeze it) if I'm not planning on using it in the next two days. They keep well for a week or two that way. Even past two weeks, I can still make guacamole with it. – Joe Mar 13 '18 at 16:07

With regards to fruits and vegetables, simply put, the longer you you don't peel it/separate it from its husk/seed it, it will go bad at a faster rate.

For example, if you have an orange getting past ripe, it may sour within a day or two. Take the same orange, peel it, put it in a ziplock and put it in the fridge. It will last for another week.

  • I'm not the one who voted you down, but it often happens when you don't actually answer the question being asked ... unfortunately, until you get 50 reputation, you can't 'comment' on questions, only 'answer' ... but in this case, it's also not true. Citrus going sour is a special case. But peeling bananas, apples, potatoes, etc. will speed browning and dehydration. A fridge might help them, but not the peeling. – Joe Mar 13 '18 at 16:15

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