The Industry mandated standard for Hass avocados in terms of maturity was updated in 2009 from 21% to 23% Dry Matter (DM) at time of harvesting. This was based on consumer sensory research showing that consumer acceptance of the quality of avocados declined from approximately 95% to 70% if the DM is below 23% and that up to 70% of consumers would choose 26% DM avocados over 22% DM avocados. Research on Shepard confirmed that 21% DM is a suitable minimum standard to achieve consumer acceptance.
The standard aims to assist growers and packhouses to achieve the best tasting avocados.
For information about how to test DM at home please visit the Best Practice Resource click here.
Avocados Australia implemented a project from September 2007 to December 2015 to monitor and report avocado fruit maturity. Funding for this program was provided by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the avocado levy and matched funds from the Australian Government. The funding for this service was discontinued in January 2016.
Random samples of avocados were taken on a monthly basis from the Sydney wholesale market and tested for DM percentage as a measure of maturity. The aim of this project was to provide data to illustrate how the levels of maturity available to consumers stacks up against consumer preferences as determined through the consumer sensory research.
Individual results were sent to each of the growers whose fruit was tested in any one month. The data over the eight years has been aggregated by region and presented below.
The green bars show the total number of samples taken in that month over the eight years. The red dot shows the average DM level for all of the fruit sampled in that month over the eight years. The vertical line shows the range of DM levels that have been recorded for that month over the eight years. The number % indicates the percentage of fruit sampled in that month over the eight years that had a DM level below the industry minimum standard.