A Queensland research project is looking into why avocados bruise so easily and how they can be prevented, with one in three avocados considered a disappointment by consumers.
The research is a joint project between the University of Queensland's (UQ) School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and the Queensland government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Consumers have said they'd buy more avocados if they had confidence they wouldn't bruise so easily, so the research hopes to reduce consumer disappointment and benefit the industry with higher sales.
UQ PhD student, Muhammad Sohail Mazhar, has followed avocados through the supply chain from ripener, distribution centre, to retailer. He discovered that most flesh bruising occurs at the retail store.
Mazah's doctorate involves looking at shoppers' contribution to bruising in retail stores and how it can be minimised.
UQ's professor Daryl Joyce believes 'decision-aid tools' and education initiatives to help shoppers choose fruit in the store may be the solution.
"Precise firmness-testing machines for avocados already exist in laboratories," he said.
"If we could adapt such devices for use in supermarkets, shoppers could learn how many days away the piece of fruit is from being ready to eat, without them having to squeeze it.
"A cost-effective firmness-testing device – combined with educating store staff, shoppers and consumers – could well be the answer to giving us many more bruise-free avocados."