Dark Spots in Avocado

Black Avocados - Dark Spots in Avocado

What are the causes of the dark spots in my avocado?

Avocados are a perishable fruit that some times is damaged by cold storage while the fruit is in transit to the grocery store.  This happens prior to the fruit beginning the ripening process.  In addition, the handling and care of the fruit can cause bruising as a result of excess handling.  Unfortunately, there is no way to tell whether or not the avocado will cut open with black spotsby looking at the fruit from the outside.  The best method to ensure quality and consistent avocados is to order online through www.californiaavocadosdirect.com.  If you happen to cut an avocado open and find the black dots, simply remove them by cutting with knife or spoon.

Late in the avocado season, as the fruit matures and contains high amounts of oil, avocados can also develop brown spots in them.  This is a result of over-ripening and high oil content.  This typically occurs when the avocado is well past the point it should be eaten.  At this stage, the fruit is very ripe and may have changed flavor as well as have a rancid smell.  I don't recommend eating avocados that are over ripe. 

Step 1 Check the color Look at the avocado’s color. Avocados that aren’t yet ripe are pale to dark green. Ripe avocados are dark green to greenish-brown, and an avocado that is dark brown to black is rotten.

 Quick Tip:

Avocados reach peak ripeness just before they begin to rot. If the avocado has only slightly rotten parts inside, it’s still good to eat.

Step 2 Pull out the stem Determine if an avocado is rotten by prying the stem from the top of the avocado. If the bottom of the stem is mushy, black, or mildewed, the avocado is probably rotten.

Step 3 Feel the avocado Pick up the avocado. If it is hard and unyielding, it isn’t ripe yet. If it’s overly soft and mushy, it’s rotten.

Step 4 Cut it open Cut open the avocado with a knife. If it’s dark green near the skin and pale green near the stone, it’s ripe. But if the meat is separated, stringy, and brown or black, it’s rotten. If the meat of a ripe avocado is exposed to air, it’ll brown quickly, but you can skim off the top layer and still use the avocado.

Safety First: How to Handle the Over-Ripe Avocado

Avocados have secured a title among the firmament of great super foods because of its high content in folate, potassium, vitamins E, C and K. It serves as a good antioxidant because it is an excellent source of glutathione, a molecule primarily used by the liver to sop up free radicals. In addition, the buttery fruit is high in monounsaturated fat which helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol—it is too good, and so true.


Avocados can be had savory or sweet, but is most commonly found in the ever-popular guacamole dip. In preparing the fruit for any purpose, most people slice the fruit in half and approach it with a spoon. I’ve found that the best way to extract the meat is to quarter the avocado and peel the skin away from it like a banana. I do this because an avocado can have bruises or be affected by plant pathogens just under the skin. If you scoop the meat out, it’s harder to assess the quality of the fruit.


It’s unsightly….but is it still safe to eat?


According to Christine Bruhn, an avocado expert from UC Davis, cosmetically flawed parts– browning flesh or unsightly patches under the skin–does not mean that the entire avocado needs to be sacrificed. Salvaging the unaffected portions of the avocado is perfectly acceptable practice. Plant pathogens that affect avocados, such as Botryosphaeria and Fusicoccum fungi are generally not known to cause disease in humans. However, if the fruit becomes so overly ripe that the taste morphs toward unfamiliar territory, or is obviously moldy and rotten, you’re better off tossing it. Christine also debunked the widely held belief that if you leave the seed in your guacamole it would keep the dip from browning. She explains that the browning is due to oxidization. Once the fruit has been festively mashed up, the seed doesn’t keep the meat from coming in contact with the air. It’s best to eat all your guacamole in one sitting while it’s fresh, but if you must save it, sealing the dip with plastic wrap (with the plastic making direct contact) may be used for the short-term.

Avocados are a permanent item on my grocery list so that I could incorporate it in my diet daily, but keeping them fresh can be tricky. As a rule of thumb, I only buy the fruit when it is still firm, and I allow them to ripen at home. When they appear ready to consume, storing them in the fridge extends the shelf life for up to a week. Steve Dreistadt, an agricultural expert from the University of California explained that avocados are often imported from various regions of the world; Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic, and California just to name a few. Generally, these regions take turns in harvesting the fruit so that avocados are available year round. Lucky us!







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Dark Spots in Avocado