Australian consumers’ demand for avocado reaches its peak during summer. With avocado supply being light during the summer season, Avocados Australia is keen to educate consumers on ways to gain the best value from selecting, ripening and storing avocado.

Many Australians have become avocado lovers recently. In 2012-13 Australian avocado growers produced 54,877 tonnes, to match the huge rise in consumption.

If you are one of these adorers of avocado, here are some tips about the best way to pick, ripen and store your produce:

The right way to ripen

• Avocados ripen after they are removed from the tree. Picking triggers the ripening process.

• To make a hard avocado start to ripen faster, place the fruit in a plain brown paper bag and store at room temperature until ready to eat. This will usually take two to five days. Including an apple or banana in the bag speeds up the process, as these fruits give off naturally occurring ethylene gas – a ripening stimulant.

The best way to select a fresh avocado

• The best way to tell if a Hass Avocado is ready for immediate use is by the colour of the skin. The change from green, to rich purple, to a black shade, means it is ready to eat.

• Avocados that have skin that remains green, even when they ripen, are referred to as “green skins”. Use gentle pressure on the stem (on the top) to see if it yields. If it does, it’s ready to eat.

• If you plan to serve the avocado in a few days, stock up on hard, un-ripened fruit.

How to store

• Whole, ripe avocados can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for two to three days.

• Cut avocado should be wrapped in cling wrap. Alternatively, they can be sprinkled with lemon juice, lime juice or white vinegar to prevent browning and placed in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. They should be eaten within a day or two.

• If refrigerated cut fruit (or even guacamole) turns brown during storage, simply discard the top, browned layer.

Mr John Tyas, CEO at Avocados Australia, believes that with proper selection, ripening and storage of avocados, consumers can gain the best value from their purchase.

“Many consumers now know how versatile and nutritious avocados are.  By knowing [these things] they utilise all of the flesh and get the most from this wonderful fruit that they love,” said Mr Tyas.