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New Uses for Avocado Seeds

With their incomparable flavor, vast gourmet uses and nutritional properties, avocados are indisputably one of the most popular and widely-consumed fruits available today. Almost everyone loves the deliciously fatty green pulp surrounding the large seed that makes up about 26% of the volume of each fruit; but although we’re finding more and more uses for the avocado seed, it is still normally just tossed out with the peel.

For every million tons of avocado harvested, an estimated half of all the seeds and peels are thrown away, and in the food industry that represents not only a significant amount of waste, but a larger-scale issue. But is there a way to utilize the seed?

Studies show that avocado seeds have a number of health benefits, such as reducing  cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood, providing fiber and antioxidants, helping strengthen the immune system and delay aging. This has resulted in more and more people consuming the dried seed, grating it directly into their food and infusing it in beverages.  

However, although it’s consumed by some, far too much is still wasted, and this is why the scientific community has a great interest in finding new ways to manufacture commercial products and create programs for using the seed. Just one example is the avocado seed starch syrup made recently by researchers from the National University of Columbia (U.N.), which they believe has up to 700 uses.

Here are just some of the avocado seed uses and potential applications that scientists have discovered:

  • Sweetener, similar to fructose, for use in recipes

  • Natural thickener for use in various food products

  • Ingredient (lactic acid) for use in cosmetic and pharmacological products

  • Essential oil with high levels of antioxidants for cosmetic use

  • Disposable vegetal plastic (biopolymer) that leaves no carbon footprint

  • Material biocompatible with living organisms, to be manufactured as surgical material such as thread for suturing wounds, prostheses or devices that help with organ function

  • Material (bio-inputs) for the generation of biofuels, such as bioethanol

Taking full advantage of avocado seeds and their potential is expected to contribute environment protection, not only as a direct solution to the problem of waste, but because, as we saw in this article, they can be made into a biodegradable alternative to petroleum plastic products or ecological fuel.

In Mexico, there is already a company making straws and utensils out of avocado seeds, using waste produced by large companies that create avocado food products such as oil. They essentially transform agro-industrial byproducts into biodegradable plastics.

At Agro Gonzámex, we produce the best avocados for marketing and consumption, thanks to the dedication of our producers who also utilize environmentally friendly practices to  guarantee the future of our planet.

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