- Author: Ben Faber
Is It Safe to Eat the Avocado Seed?
We have received a lot of questions from consumers and dietitians lately asking us what we think about consuming the avocado seed/pit. So is it safe to eat the avocado seed? We don't recommend it.
While this is presently a very popular topic and there is a body of evidence looking at extracts of the avocado seed, the fact is there is not enough research to support consuming an avocado seed. The purported health benefits and risks of avocado seed intake are poorly characterized.
As stated in a 2013 research study by Pennsylvania State University, “although the currently available data is promising, for most indications, it remains very preliminary and further studies are needed” and “In addition, the safety of the various extracts of the avocado seeds must be assessed in order to more fully estimate the usefulness of this resource."
While it is not recommended that you eat the seed of the avocado, the fruit/pulp of the California Avocados is ripe with nutrition. One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz.) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a tasty choice for a nutritious and healthy diet. California Avocados are naturally sodium and cholesterol-free; a naturally nutritious superfood.
And some research papers to chew on:
Avocado (Persea americana) seed as a source of bioactive phytochemicals
Nutritional efficacy of avocado seeds
Optimization of the antioxidant and antimicrobial response of the combined effect of nisin and avocado byproducts
- Author: Ben Faber
There have been some complaints about satsuma mandarin fruit having problems. These are prone to a rind/skin/peel breakdown when the fruit is not picked promptly. It's not clear what the cause is - wet winter, warm winter - but it is less of a problem if the fruit is picked when it is mature. A lot of the time in southern California, satsumas will develop good flavor and sweetness, but for lack of cool weather, they don't turn bright orange, a hallmark of the fruit. So growers will leave the fruit on longer, hoping for color, but the fruit becomes over mature, and more susceptible to breakdown. This weakening of the peel then opens it up to infection by fungi, such as Alternaria. In warm winters, the peel matures more rapidly and is more susceptible. Early maturing varieties like ‘Okitsuwase' are especially prone to breakdown later in the season, since their rind matures earlier. They end up being a mess, as can be seen in the photo below.
Navels can have a similar problem in these winters with erratic rainfall. Common wisdom is you don't irrigate in the winter, right? Wrong. With no, low and widely spaced rain events, the tree roots dry out, and rewet with rain. Navels are building their sugar in the winter and they become suction balls for water as the sugar increases. The fruit will continue to grow as the tree takes up water. When the roots run out of water, and then are suddenly rewetted during this period, the fruit can suck up water so rapidly that the skin cant expand fast enough and will split. So this is what happens with uneven irrigation or rainfall this time of year. One of those abiotic problems in citrus.