Refrigerated Avocado Turned Brown: Why and What Should We Do?

It’s a common occurrence: you buy an avocado, refrigerate it, and then notice that the refrigerated avocado turned brown. What happened?

This article will explain how refrigeration affects avocados and why they turn brown after being stored in the fridge!

Why do avocados turn brown after being refrigerated?

refrigerated avocado turned brown

Have you ever noticed that avocados turn brown when refrigerated? Or even worse, have you ever found an avocado in the refrigerator and it’s been sitting there for a few days and is now completely black? What happened to your beautiful green avocado?

It turns out that while this may seem like some sort of rip-off by the avocado gods, it has nothing at all to do with them. In fact, it’s totally natural.

When avocados are exposed to air they start to oxidize which causes oxidation in the flesh as well. This eventually leads to an unsightly darkening or discoloring of the fruit.

This is because of an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO). When exposed to air, PPO reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere and converts phenols from the fruit into quinones. These quinones can react with certain amino acids found in proteins like lysine, arginine and tyrosine which leads to browning or discoloration. 

Do avocados go bad in the fridge?

Once ripe, eat the avocado in the next day or two, or store it whole and uncut for up to three days. Cold slows down ripening so don’t buy unripe avocados and put them in the refrigerator because they won’t be able to fully ripen properly if at all.

How quickly do avocados turn brown?

Cut an avocado, and it will be hours, typically at least four hours, before the fruit starts to turn brown. If you cut into a really ripe one, it’ll start turning color much faster than if it was still green or just starting to ripen when picked.

What should we do to prevent avocados from turning brown?

You may have experienced the frustration of an avocado turning brown in your fridge. To prevent this issue, we’ve got a few tips for storing avocados properly.

If you’re ready to get started, check out these four steps below: 

  1. To avoid this reaction it’s best to keep avocados at room temperature as long as possible before refrigerating them.
  2. Cut the avocado lengthwise and twist it open like a clam shell; remove the pit and spoon out the flesh gently with a spoon or scoop.
  3. Gently brush off any loose pieces of skin that might be on the surface using dry paper towel or dry cloth.
  4. Cut the avocados into smaller pieces before storing them.
  5. Scoop some lemon juice or vinegar over top (or another acid such as lime juice), then place plastic wrap directly on top so that it’s touching all surfaces of both halves before closing them up like they were
  6. After placing the avocados into a plastic bag, store them in the refrigerator, not on the countertop, so that no air can come into contact with it.

How can we tell if an avocado is ripe and ready to eat?

It’s been a while since you’ve eaten an avocado, and now you’re craving one. You go to the grocery store and pick one up that looks perfect. But is it ready to eat? How can we tell if an avocado is ripe?

If your avocado has brown spots on the skin, then this means that it isn’t ripe yet. If there are no brown spots, then your best bet would be to gently squeeze the fruit in question. If it feels soft but gives some resistance when squeezed or if there is no give at all with gentle pressure, then this means that it may not be fully ripened.

If the skin of the avocado has turned from green to black-ish brown then that means it will be perfect for eating.  The best way to check ripeness of an avocado is by pressing on its stem end with gentle pressure and feeling around in order find where it feels softest. The softer that place gets as you push down on it, the riper your fruit should be.

Is it OK to eat brown a avocado?

An avocado that’s ready to eat should have light green flesh. Rotten avocados will usually be brown or black throughout the fruit, but if there is one isolated spot of brown then it could just mean bruising and not a widespread spoilage. If an avocado looks good otherwise and tastes fine, you’re all set.

What do I do with a brown avocado?

Finding a brown avocado can be intimidating, but there are many ways to use up a brown, overripe avocados.

  • Make your own brownies

You can make your own brownies by putting a ripe avocado in your food processor with some cocoa powder and sugar. The creamy texture will give you the best results for this recipe. Choosing an under-ripe or overripe fruit might result in dry, crumbly cake-like brownies instead of moist ones.

  • Make guacamole or salsa

If you’re not feeling like making something sweet, try one of these savory dishes: dip slices of whole grain bread into smashed avocados mixed with tomato sauce and spices for a quick lunch; spread mashed avocados on toast topped with tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice for breakfast.

  • Blend into smoothies

You can blend your brown avocado with banana. With the addition of a little honey these smoothies will be sweet enough to satisfy any sugar craving. Read on for the full instructions on how to make this delicious drink at home.

  • Make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

It is no secret that many people love chocolate chip cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with avocado are just as delicious. They also have a bit more nutritional value than traditional recipes because of the healthy fats from avocados.

  • Or even make chocolate pudding

Do you ever crave chocolate but want to avoid adding sugar? Avocado can be used as a substitute for cream in making chocolate pudding. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon to the avocado and process with an immersion blender until smooth. Mix in maple syrup or honey if desired. The end result is a creamy dessert without any added sugar.

Will vinegar keep avocado from browning?

When you buy avocados and need them to last a little bit longer, put some vinegar on the surface before storing it in your fridge. This will slow down how quickly they brown over time.

If this is not enough for you, there are also other options such as lemon or lime juice that have almost the same effect of slowing down browning. But using vinegar first can help reduce acidity levels so that flavor doesn’t get overpowered with too much citrus fruit juices like lemons or limes.

A really simple way to store avocado slices for later use would be adding a splash of acidic vinegar onto the surface. It will slow their self-browning process tremendously, if left untouched overnight in storage.

Tips for storing cut or peeled avocados in the refrigerator so they don’t get brown and mushy when eaten later on

If you find yourself with a few avocados and no time to use them up, don’t worry! You can store the cut or peeled fruit in the fridge for a while without any major issues.

However, it is important to note that this will not keep them fresh forever. In order to keep these fruits as healthy as possible, here are some tips on storing cut or peeled avocados in the refrigerator: 

  1. Cut your avocado into halves lengthwise before peeling off the skin and scooping out of flesh. This way there’s less chance of losing any pieces while slicing or dicing. 
  2. Use plastic wrap (or an air-tight container if you have one) to cover your avocado and seal tightly. This will help keep the fruit from oxidizing and turning brown.
  3. Since avocados continue to ripen after they are cut, it’s important not to place them next to other produce items because this could cause them to over-ripen before you’re ready for use.