Avocado

Avocados (Persea americana, avocado pears, alligator pears, of the family Lauraceae) are native to Central America and are grown worldwide, but they became an important commercial crop in the United States and Mexico in the twentieth century. Worldwide production in 1992 was estimated to be about 1.4 million metric tons, of which Mexico produced about 785,000 tons and the United States 155,000 tons (1).

Avocados are classified into three types:

1. The West Indies type (P. americana var. americana) is grown in tropical regions. The fruit is large and round, with a thick skin and a yellowish-green pulp color. The oil content is less than 8%.

2. The Mexican type (P. americana, var. drymifolia) is grown in both tropical and subtropical regions. The small fruit has a thin green skin, and the green pulp has an oil content up to 30% by weight.

3. The Guatemalan type (P. americana var. guatema-lensis) is grown in both tropical and subtropical regions. The green fruit has a thick skin, a high oil content, and a nutty flavor.

Avocados have traditionally been marketed fresh, but a large processing industry developed in the 1960s primarily to produce a spiced puree known as guacamole. The avocados are washed, sorted, sanitized in a hypochlorite solution, and cut to remove the large seed; the flesh is then passed through an extractor to remove the skin. The resultant puree is packed, frozen, and sold to both the consumer and institutional trade for the manufacture of guacamole. Oil can be extracted from the fruit by solvent extraction of the dried fruit, by hydraulic pressing of the dried slices, or by centrifugation of the fruit puree.

Avocados as purchased are usually very firm and have to be allowed to ripen before consumption. They do not ripen on the tree. After harvesting the rate of ripening depends on the maturity of the fruit, the temperature, the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and the humidity. The processors require a uniform supply of ripe fruit, so the fruit is usually treated with ethylene gas in ripening rooms to ensure uniform ripening. For the fresh fruit trade, the fruit may be preconditioned with a short ethylene treatment to ensure more rapid ripening in supermarkets and restaurants. Discoloration after cutting is a major problem for the processors, but it has been minimized by rapid handling and proper selection of cultivars. Avocados are unique in having the highest protein and oil content of any fruit. The U.S. processed market has been estimated at 23,000 tons and will probably increase as Mexican foods become more popular (1).

Homemade Pet Food Secrets

Homemade Pet Food Secrets

It is a well known fact that homemade food is always a healthier option for pets when compared to the market packed food. The increasing hazards to the health of the pets have made pet owners stick to containment of commercial pet food. The basic fundamentals of health for human beings are applicable for pets also.

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