Avocado for Natural Coloring

University Park, PA—The fruit of an avocado may be green, but its seed may be helpful as a totally different natural coloring agent.

Scientists from the Pennsylvania State University have discovered that if avocado seeds are crushed with water (in the presence of air), an orange color develops. Heat and tropolone prevented the color from developing, while adding polyphenol oxidase preserved it. If the researchers made the pH more basic (adjusting it from two to 11), the orange color became even more intense, according to data printed in the Journal of Food Science.

Avocado seeds typically are discarded, so the use of the seed in this manner not only reduces waste, but also could be a novel source of natural orange color.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2012 (online 12/22/11)