Avocado maturity is one of the most essential aspects to consider when partnering with a supplier or an exporter. In addition, avocado farmers, suppliers, and retailers must be skilled enough to know whether an avocado is mature.
As a leading exporter in Kenya, FrutPlanet has built a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy exporter. We have achieved this by partnering with our avocado growers and training them on organic avocado farming, among other sustainable farming practices.
More often than not, we have insisted that supplying mature avocados is vital to keeping Kenya’s and our company’s reputation. Furthermore, avocado maturity is crucial to ensure optimal taste and texture.
Here are a few indicators that we train our growers to keep an eye on
Number 1: Color
An avocado’s color is one indicator of its maturity. However, the color aspect varies from one variety of avocado to the other. But in most avocado varieties, an observable could change if the avocado is fully mature.
Most avocado varieties start green and gradually darken as they ripen. For example, when fully mature, Fuerte avocado transitions from light green, with a whitish overlay, to a more dark green spotty skin. On the other hand, the Hass avocados transition from green to a dark purplish-black when fully mature.
However, some avocado varieties remain green even when mature. Therefore, you can’t use color alone to determine their maturity. Some of these varieties include Gwen, Pinkerton, and Reed. So if color alone may not be definitive, what other options do you have?
Number 2: Texture and Firmness
Usually, a mature avocado is firm, and some varieties have a rough texture. The firmness is because the fresh avocado has enough mature fibers. Immature avocados have an overly soft or mushy feel when you squeeze them.
Hold the avocado in your palm and gently squeeze it to assess its maturity. A mature avocado should yield slightly to gentle pressure. Immature avocados are less firm and soft but not overly soft like ripe avocados.
In addition, the ideal skin texture of a mature avocado is roughness in most varieties. For example, Pinkerton, Fuerte, and Hass’s avocado varieties have bumpy skin when fully mature. But this is only sometimes the case. Other types, such as Pryor, Mexicola, and Bacon, are often smooth even when mature.
Number 3: Stem End
The stem end is the cord that connects the avocado fruit and the plant. When an avocado is almost mature, the stem end changes to prepare for detachment. The steam end may begin drying and eventually detach.
Check whether your avocado’s stem end for the avocado can easily pop off and reveal the green flesh underneath. If it does, the avocado is generally mature and ready for ripening. But if you can’t notice any changes or struggle to remove the stem, the avocado is probably not mature.
But changes in the stem end aren’t always a sign of maturity. It could be a stem end rot, a fungal pathogen often in drier, hotter areas. The condition usually starts after the avocados are fully mature, as they begin the ripening stage.
Number 4: Size and Weight
Even though size alone is not a definitive indicator, mature avocados tend to be larger than unripe ones. And if size fails you, the mature avocado should feel heavier. This is because mature avocados have more fiber, and they often have a higher water-to-nutrient ratio. As the fruit matures, it accumulates moisture and increases water content.
All avocado varieties exhibit the aspect where the mature ones are heavier than the immature ones. If you have been growing avocados for a while now, it’s easy to identify changes in size and weight quickly.
Number 5: Time Since Harvest
Physical features can be hard to track, especially if you haven’t grown avocados for a while. But yet, it could be easier to determine avocado maturity by tracking the regional seasons and time since the last harvest. All regions have seasons; even though the timeframe may be broad, it’s a step closer in the positive direction.
If you have information about the harvest date, it can provide insights into the maturity of the avocado. Avocados typically have a maturity timeframe of several days to weeks during which they reach optimal ripeness.
By considering the avocado’s color, firmness, stem end, size, and time since harvest, you can reasonably assess its maturity. If you’re doing this for the first time, it may take some practice to judge based on these indicators. But with time and experience, you will become more proficient in selecting avocados at their peak.
Determining avocado maturity is easy, especially if you have grown or traded them enough. However, even the best still get some features off, especially when sourcing from different regions and varieties.
As an avocado retailer, it’s important to you and your customers. Stocking immature avocados could destroy your reputation and reduce return customers. How do you avoid falling into the trap of sourcing and trading immature avocados? Partner with a reliable, reputable exporter.
If you’d love to partner with us, FrutPlanet exporters, email us via email@example.com or request a quote for bulk Hass avocado. We are a leading Hass exporter in Kenya and have been exporting mature avocados that meet clients’ preferences for over five years.