Why we picked avocado seeds
Avocados are an american favorite and in America we consumed approximately 50 million tons of avocados consumed in the US per week in 2019!! They are known as a super food and are famous for their healthy fats.
But did you know that you only get 5% of the antioxidants in an avocado when you eat the pulp? Here is why:
If you have every left an avocado out for too long or noticed how your green guac turned brown after it went in to the fridge, you have experienced the oxidation of the delicate fats (mono- and poly- unsaturated fatty acids) in the avocado. The seed and the peel contain antioxidants to help stop this oxidation process.
So - what happens to all all the seeds and the peels?
The seeds and peels have not been used to their full potential. The seed and the peel together make up between 18-30% of the dry weight of the fruit, generating large volumes of agro-industrial byproducts. It is estimated that the total number of avocado seeds thrown away is 15 million pounds per week!
The chemical composition of the peel and the seeds gives them great potential to be used in many ways. The seeds contribute to 57% of the total antioxidant capacity of the fruit and the peels for 38%. Their high volumes of polyphenols and antioxidants can be used to exploit the benefits of reducing inflammation, preventing lipid oxidation, prevention of heart disease and battling cancer. There are a lot of ongoing studies about these right now!
They are also a good source of bioactive phytochemicals such as phenolic acids, tannins and flavonoids (antioxidants similar to green tea and wine). Each of these compounds play an important role in human health.
Currently, most avocado seeds go directly to the landfill because they are too hard to go into commercial composters and do not compost very easily. There, they get trapped between layers of plastic, creating greenhouse gases and toxins that make their way to into the soil, the water and the air.
As food scientists, we had both the ability and the responsibility to change the narrative of the avocado seed - and so Reveal was born. Find out about how we got started here.