Now in season! Learn what makes our avocados so special & where to find them.

FAQs

Have a question about avocados? Browse our list of Frequently Asked Questions below for answers to common questions.

Frequently Asked Avocado Questions

Can you freeze avocados? If so, how?

Ripe fruit can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for up to three days. To store cut fruit, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar and place it in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. If refrigerated guacamole turns brown (due to oxidation) during storage, discard the top layer.

When you have an abundance of fresh avocados, consider freezing them. Pureed avocados freeze very well and can be used in salads, sandwiches and dips.
1.    Wash, seed and peel the fruit
2.    Puree the flesh, adding one tablespoon of lemon juice for each two pureed avocados
3.    Pack the puree into an air-tight container, leaving 1 inch of headspace
4.    Seal and label the containers
5.    Freeze and use within four to five months

For more selecting and handling information, please visit the Selecting and Handling section of our Web site.

How much d-mannoheptulose is in a medium avocado?

While research shows that avocados contain the sugar molecule D-mannoheptulose, we do not have any source of how much is in a serving of avocado.

Based on the USDA nutrient database, we do know that a 1-oz serving of an avocado contains 2.6 grams of carbohydrate. The current analyses that have been completed on the California fruit do not get into the specific types of sugars in the fruit.
 
For a complete analysis, you can visit the USDA Web site at http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search

I have heard that avocados make a nutritious baby food, is this true?

While we always recommend following a physician's advice, you are right in that avocados are considered an excellent first food for babies. Learn more about homemade avocado baby food.

I love avocados and so do my pets. Are avocados bad for them?

We recommend that you speak with your veterinarian to get advice on whether it is OK to feed them to your animals or not.

I am interested in substituting ‘x’ with avocados. How does ‘x’ compare to avocados?

Please see the Spread and Dip Nutritional comparison for fresh avocados on the Nutrition section of our Web site.

I have heard that the avocado seed contains additional nutrients is this true?

The California Avocado Commission does not recommend consumption of the “pit” or seed of an avocado. The seed of an avocado contains elements that are not intended for human consumption.

I noticed on your site that the folate percentage is different for the Spanish version versus the English version, is this a mistake?

Regarding your question as to why the Folate percent of daily value requirement is twice as high in Spanish as it is in English, this is based on the Recommended Daily Values (RDV) for U.S. and Spanish nutrition requirements. The U.S. Folate RDV is 400 micrograms per day, established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. The Spanish RDA is 200 micrograms per day and that figure was set by Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences Spanish counterpart.

The labels on our Web site are correct, and in compliance with the FDA Guidelines for Nutrition Labeling, the content has been approved by the FDA.

What is the Omega content in avocados?

Based on a single serving of avocado (1/5 medium avocado or 30g), avocados contain the following milligrams of Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9:
OMEGA 3 = 40mg
OMEGA 6 = 500mg
OMEGA 9 = 30mg

The avocado is virtually the only fruit that has monounsaturated fat (the good fat). This good fat can help boost HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol), which is especially important for people with diabetes, as they are at greater risk of heart disease.
Visit the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans Web site for more information. http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

What are the total carbs and calories in an avocado?

The total carbohydrates of an avocado (serving size 1/5 medium [30g/1oz]) is 3 grams or 1 percent of the daily value.

The total calories of an avocado (serving size 1/5 medium [30g/1oz]) is 50 per serving (35 calories from fat).

Learn more about avocado nutrition information.

Are there nutrition differences by variety?

There are hundreds of avocado selections worldwide, each with their own characteristic shape, size, color, seasonality and other features. Along with the diverse external appearance of the fruit, they may vary internally too in texture, taste, color as well as nutritionally. Approximately 95 percent of avocados sold in the U.S. domestic markets are the Hass variety, which has a well-established nutritional label.
 
Hass fruit accumulate rich nutty oils as the harvest season progresses, so late season fruit from any growing area may be higher in these oils than earlier season fruit. The nutrition label accounts for these variances.

Avocado

I have an idea for a marketing campaign for California Avocados. Can I send it to you?

We appreciate all avocado enthusiasm and passion; however, our marketing and promotional programs are developed, handled and contracted by third party agencies and are generally developed a year in advance for budgeting and planning purposes.

I’m looking for information on a specific variety that I do not see listed on your Web site. Can you help?

The University of California Riverside Avocado Information Web site has a comprehensive listing of varieties.

Where in California are avocados grown?

Avocados are generally grown commercially in the coastal regions of central to southern California from Morro Bay to San Diego. There are also a few microclimates further north.

You can learn more about some of the avocado growers in these areas here, or learn more about growing your own avocado tree from the seed stage

Can you freeze avocados? If so, how?

Ripe fruit can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for up to three days. To store cut fruit, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar and place it in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. If refrigerated guacamole turns brown (due to oxidation) during storage, discard the top layer.

When you have an abundance of fresh avocados, consider freezing them. Pureed avocados freeze very well and can be used in salads, sandwiches and dips.
1.    Wash, seed and peel the fruit
2.    Puree the flesh, adding one tablespoon of lemon juice for each two pureed avocados
3.    Pack the puree into an air-tight container, leaving 1 inch of headspace
4.    Seal and label the containers
5.    Freeze and use within four to five months

For more selecting and handling information, please visit the Selecting and Handling section of our Web site.

How many different varieties of avocados are there?

There are literally thousands of named varieties of avocados (and untold unnamed varieties in back yards and in the wild). However, there are really only a small number of commercial varieties being grown for sale today, the main one being Hass, with Lamb Hass, Fuerte, Bacon, Pinkerton, Gwen, Reed and Zutano also available commercially.

I want to know about an avocado known as the “cocktail” or “finger” avocado.

Small, pickle-shaped fruit are sometimes called "cukes" (as in cucumbers) by many in the avocado industry. They result from a flower that did not pollinate properly. These fruit will often fall from the tree on their own, but if they "hang on" you can pick them and eat them. Some varieties are more prone to producing "cukes" than others and occasionally avocado growers will harvest them and market them. When sold, they are often labeled "Cocktail" or "Finger" avocados.

Why are organic avocados so expensive? Do non-organic avocados contain a lot of pesticides? Is it worth it to purchase organic California Avocados?

Yes, organic fruit can be more expensive. Organically grown avocados must meet a number of specifications and requirements that increase cost of production. However, as organic volume has increased the gap between conventional and organic pricing has narrowed somewhat.

For more information on the guidelines you may wish to visit the following Web site:
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/organic.html 

California Avocados rank among the lowest of all fruits and vegetables for pesticide use. Neither organic nor conventional avocados have measurable chemical residues in the pulp, so both are good choices. The choice is yours to make but, either way, we hope you will continue to enjoy them often!

I am doing a report on avocados and need some information. Where should I look?

A great place to start is this Web site. If after browsing the site you still have questions or are looking for something specific, please let us know.

Eating Avocado

How can you tell if an avocado is ripe?

The best way to tell if a California Avocado is ready for immediate use is to gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand (avoid squeezing with your fingertips). Ripe, ready-to-eat fruit will be firm yet will yield to gentle pressure.

For more selecting and handling information, please visit the Selecting and Handling section of our Web site.

Can you freeze avocados? If so, how?

Ripe fruit can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for up to three days. To store cut fruit, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar and place it in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. If refrigerated guacamole turns brown (due to oxidation) during storage, discard the top layer.

When you have an abundance of fresh avocados, consider freezing them. Pureed avocados freeze very well and can be used in salads, sandwiches and dips.
1.    Wash, seed and peel the fruit
2.    Puree the flesh, adding one tablespoon of lemon juice for each two pureed avocados
3.    Pack the puree into an air-tight container, leaving 1 inch of headspace
4.    Seal and label the containers
5.    Freeze and use within four to five months

For more selecting and handling information, please visit the Selecting and Handling section of our Web site.

How do I know if my California Avocado is too ripe to eat?

If the fruit or guacamole has oxidized (turned brown) on the top layer and the underneath is green, simply discard the brown layer. If the fruit is overly soft or the stem end appears to be drying out (shriveled), inspect the fruit carefully and use fruit that is free of brown color or strings. Overly ripe fruit can take on a rancid odor so inspect closely for that as well.

For more selecting and handling information, please visit the Selecting and Handling section of our Web site.

The Quality of Avocados

I can’t seem to buy a good quality avocado. What is going on?

It is disappointing to hear of your less-than-satisfying experience with your recent avocado purchases. Avocados are available year-round from multiple sources of supply. The peak season for California Avocados is spring through fall. The maturity of avocados from different origins can affect the texture, quality and overall eating experience. If it is California Avocado season and you are experiencing these issues on fruit with a Price Look Up (PLU) sticker that says California on it, please contact us so that we can look into the issue.

As part of our retail outreach, we provide handling, ripening, storage and display information and materials to retailers to educate them on proper handling for avocados at store-level.

If you haven’t already, it’s a good practice to make your produce manager aware of any concerns you experience so they can address them.

What are the bumps found on the surface of the skin of my avocado?

The “bumps” (not the pebbly bumps that are part of the Hass Avocado’s external skin) found on your avocado, or the occurrence of hard, corky or woody “pebbles” in the flesh of Hass avocados is rare. Avocados naturally have a defense mechanism that allows a wound to the skin to be “corked off” resulting in pebble-like nodes in the pulp. The bumps are not harmful.

Why does my California Avocado and/or guacamole turn brown? If I keep the seed in with the fruit will that help?

Oxidation (exposure to air) can cause the fruit of an avocado and/or guacamole to turn brown. By brushing the fruit or guacamole with an acidic agent such as lemon, lime, vinegar or even oranges and placing the avocado or dish in an air-tight container in your refrigerator, you can help delay this process.

Placing the avocado seed in guacamole may help maintain the color of the guacamole because the seed reduces the amount of surface area that is exposed to air (minimizing oxidization). We recommend covering your guacamole with clear plastic wrap or placing it in an air tight container if you prepare it in advance and want to store it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

What happened to the quality of avocados recently?

Avocados are now available year round due to global sourcing. During periods of transition from one origin to the next, you may experience quality issues due to early season fruit from one area and late season fruit from another. Avocados generally have a Price Look Up (PLU) sticker on them with information on where the fruit is from. Generally speaking California Avocados are in the market from spring through fall.

If you experience quality issues during the California season on fruit with a California PLU, please let us know so that we may look into the issue. As always, when you experience issues with quality, we suggest you inform your produce department personnel.

Why does my avocado have strings or spots?

Strings or stringy fruit or the thickening of the vascular bundles (fibers that run longitudinally through the fruit) are generally the result of fruit from younger trees or improper storage conditions. Often times the fibers or strings will disappear or become less noticeable as the fruit (and tree) matures.

Flesh discoloration can occur when the avocado has been exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time. Flesh bruising can occur in transit or as a result of compression caused by excessive handling. Unfortunately there is no way to detect either flesh discoloration or flesh bruising by looking at the avocado's exterior. Damaged areas or spots can be removed by cutting them out.

Purchasing or Selling Avocados

How can I purchase California Avocados from you?

The California Avocado Commission (CAC) is a marketing organization and is not involved in the sale of avocados or avocado related products.

However, many avocado handlers offer shipping services. Visit the avocado handlers section of our Web site for their contact information.

What does the number I see on the sticker in the store mean?

The PLU (Price Look Up) sticker you reference is used by the retail checker to accurately input the item for price. The sticker contains a four digit number. If the product is organic then it has five digits prefaced with a 9. The PLU numbers for the Hass variety of avocados are: 4046, 4225 and 4770 depending on the size of the fruit. Organic Hass Avocados PLU numbers are 94046, 94225 and 94770.

The PLU sticker also contains source of origin information such as California, Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic or New Zealand and some shippers include their company or label name.

Where can I buy avocado oil?

The California Avocado Commission (CAC) does not grow, pack or ship avocados or avocado related products. Although not always available in stores, avocado oil is most often used as a cooking oil. You can purchase avocado oil from this Web site:
http://www.pacificaculinaria.com/index.html

For avocado oil producers, you may try contacting either:

Spectrum Organics (http://www.spectrumorganics.com)

or:

Natural Oils (http://www.naturaloils.com) for more information.

Where can I find California Avocados?

California Avocados are widely available from spring through fall with some availability appearing at other times of the year depending on the season.

The California Avocado Commission encourages you to look for the California sticker and insist on California Avocados in season.

I would like to purchase a specific variety of avocado. Can you help?

The Hass variety represents over 90 percent of the avocados sold in the U.S. Due to limited availability of the other varieties, it is sometimes difficult for retailers to secure them. You could start by visiting a local farmer’s market or performing a search through your favorite online search engine for “California Avocado Gifts” and the variety you are looking for to find a source that may be able to ship them directly to you.

Alternatively, if you’d like to order a gift box of avocados, see our list of growers who sell avocados and gift boxes online:

Cherry Moon Farms: http://www.cherrymoonfarms.com
Greenwood Groves: http://www.greenwoodgroves.com
Fallbrook Avocado Company: fallbrookavocado@aol.com
Avocado of the Month Club: http://www.avocadoofthemonthclub.com
AvocadoMonthly.com: http://avocadomonthly.com/

Where can I order a gift box of avocados?

The California Avocado Commission (CAC) is a marketing organization and is not involved in the sale of avocados or avocado related products.

You can start by searching the Web for “avocado gifts” to see what you come up with, or try the following growers who sell avocados and gift boxes online:

Cherry Moon Farms: http://www.cherrymoonfarms.com
Fallbrook Avocado Company: fallbrookavocado@aol.com
Avocado of the Month Club: http://www.avocadoofthemonthclub.com
California Avocados Direct: http://www.CaliforniaAvocadosDirect.com 
AvocadoMonthly.com: http://avocadomonthly.com/

You could also try contacting one of the avocado handlers.

I am an avocado exporter and would like to export California Avocados to my markets. Can you help?

The California Avocado Commission (CAC) is a marketing organization and is not involved in the direct sales of avocados. Please contact on of the avocado handlers listed on our Web site.

Growing Avocados

I grew an avocado tree from a seed. Will the fruit it produces be the same as the fruit I grew the seed from?

Not always. While you can grow a tree from an avocado seed, it will be very different from its parent variety and may take 7-15 years to begin producing fruit. Fruit from a tree grown from a seed tends to have different flavor characteristics than its parent variety. Known varieties such as Hass Avocados are grafted to preserve their varietal characteristics rather than grown from a seed.

Visit our “Grow your own tree” section for more information.

I have (or am going to get) a tree and I have some questions. What should I do?

Regarding your questions on your tree, we recommend contacting a nursery or even a master gardener nearest you to make sure you get the correct information.

Please visit the following website for a list of master gardeners:
University of California Master Gardeners
http://ucanr.org/sites/mastergardener/

Additionally, below are some relevant resources on growing avocados:
California Avocado Commission (CAC) Growers page:  http://www.CaliforniaAvocadoGrowers.com
California Avocado Society Growing Avocados http://www.californiaavocadosociety.org/growing.html

For additional grower information you can visit: http://www.avocadosource.com and also
Avocado Variety information http://ucavo.ucr.edu/AvocadoVarieties/VarietyFrame.html#Anchor-47857

Why doesn’t my avocado tree produce fruit?

It can be a challenge to track down the reason why a particular tree may not be producing fruit. Not all avocado trees produce fruit and if your tree is a cross of an unknown species, there are many unknown variables.

The following sites may be helpful:

http://www.ahs.org/master_gardeners/index.htm
http://ucavo.ucr.edu

We also recommend speaking to a master gardener or nursery in your area.

I am a backyard avocado grower and I am experiencing issues with my trees. Can you help?

The California Avocado Commission (CAC) is a marketing organization. We generally refer growing or pest related questions to resources that specialize in these areas. We recommend visiting the following Web sites for assistance in diagnosing your problem, or contacting a nursery or master gardener in your area.

University of California – Agriculture and Natural Resources http://www.ucavo.ucr.edu

American Horticultural Society – Master Gardeners http://www.ahs.org/master_gardeners/index.htm

I have an avocado tree. How do I know when my avocados are ready for picking?

Avocados do not "ripen" on the tree so they do not get soft while on the tree. Depending on the variety of your tree, there are peak periods of maturity. Please refer to the maturity release dates posted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) at http://www.californiaavocadogrowers.com/maturity-release-dates/.

You can usually tell from the look of the fruit whether they are old or young by their size and color of the skin. Most avocado fruit will have a shine to the skin when young that is gradually lost as the fruit matures and becomes ready to pick.

As always, we prefer to defer to the experts regarding this issue. Visit the Web sites below or contact a nursery or master gardener in your area for more detailed information.

University of California – Agriculture and Natural Resources http://www.ucavo.ucr.edu

American Horticultural Society – Master Gardeners http://www.ahs.org/master_gardeners/index.htm

How do I grow an avocado tree from a seed?

Visit our “Grow Your Own Tree” section for more information.

It is my understanding that you can only grow avocados in warmer climates. Is that true?

Yes, the avocado tree is a native understory tree to humid and semi-humid tropics. It seems to do best at moderately warm temperatures (60 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit) and moderate humidity. Temperatures outside that range are less ideal. The tree itself can tolerate temperatures, once established, to around 28 – 32 degrees Fahrenheit with minimal damage. However, young trees are more susceptible to freeze damage and will need some protection during frost periods.

For a list of varieties and additional information, visit the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Avocado Information Variety list on their Web site at: http://ucavo.ucr.edu/AvocadoVarieties/VarietyFrame

Other

I am planning an event and was wondering if the California Avocado Commission would be willing to donate giveaways?

We appreciate your consideration. In order for the California Avocado Commission (CAC) to assist you, we need the following information: date of event, number of people attending, if nutrition information is relevant, if children will be present and anything else that may assist in our ability to assess the needs of your organization’s event. Please utilize our online contact form.

I have a product that I think would be great for avocado growers in California. How can I get access to their information so that I may send them the details on my product?

The California Avocado Commission (CAC) takes privacy very seriously and is unable to provide grower contact information for solicitation purposes.

We recommend that you contact a farm advisor or nursery in your area for distribution opportunities.

I love avocados and would love to have an avocado farm. How do I get into the business?
Will the Commission sponsor my organization?

Please contact us and describe your organization, its goals and purpose, its structure and what you are looking for the Commission to provide in terms of sponsorship.