Avocado Seeds, Can be Eaten?

Avocado is a climacteric fruit. It ripens even if detached from tree. However, immature fruits cannot be eaten, full ripening should commence. The unripe fruit taste bitter. Fully ripen avocado can be determined by  soft texture and skin color – usually violet but not true for all varieties.

When opening avocado fruit, you will notice its seed is unusually large, 1/5 to 1/4 of the whole fruit size. What are the uses for the seeds, as planting material or as compost. Perhaps it has some medicinal values.

According to website, answers.com: One raised a question if it is safe to eat avocado seeds. A respondent answered that  it can be eaten. Roasting gently will removed the bitterness and the taste is similar to peanut. The testimony is also published in other popular websites.

Avocado seed tasting like peanut seems to be  good thing. Peanut vendors can include spicy avocado seeds in their product lines. Its time to put it to a test.

I have one avocado seed in refrigerator. I intentionally kept it for this purpose.

I removed the outer seed covering. I guessed the only use for seed covering is just for compost.

the avocado seed

Then I chopped it to small pieces. Smaller cubes will facilitate roasting and toasting process.

chopped avocado seeds

I roast it over a low flame for about 10 minutes. I tasted one cube and the taste was still bitter. I continue the roasting for another 5 minutes. I tasted again and the taste was still bitter.

roasting chopped avocado seeds

I stopped the cooking process cause the seed will got burnt in few minutes.

The avocado seeds cannot be eaten due to its bitterness. Removing bad taste failed. My conclusion might not be true if I did something wrong in the process.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

5 Replies to “Avocado Seeds, Can be Eaten?”

  1. Perhaps you have to treat it the way you do acorns? chop it into fine bits, boil it for a long time, pour out the boiled water, and repeat until it is not bitter.

    The issue is not just one of taste, but one of toxicity. Does the nut contain some kind of toxic substance (like tannins in acorns) that can be removed?



  2. I have been using them in my cereal since they are high in fiber.

    Grate them with the smaller holes of a cheese grater. Dont leave them too long , collect a few but if they dry out you can’t grate them.
    Place on cookie sheet and leave for a few days to go red. I just leave them in the cold oven.
    You can add a tablespoon to your cereal on the morning or toast a little bit.
    I cant taste the difference between toasted and untoasted.
    I keep a bag of my Avocado fiber, wheat germ and bran and spoon 2 or 3 teaspoons into my granola or museli.

  3. Toxicity

    Unripe avocados are said to be toxic. Two resins derived from the skin of the fruit are toxic to guinea pigs by subcutaneous and peritoneal injection. Dopamine has been found in the leaves. The leaf oil contains methyl chavicol. Not all varieties are equally toxic. Rabbits fed on leaves of ‘Fuerte’ and ‘Nabal’ died within 24 hours. Those fed on leaves of ‘Mexicola’ showed no adverse reactions. Ingestion of avocado leaves and/or bark has caused mastitis in cattle, horses, rabbits and goats. Large doses have been fatal to goats. Craigmill et al. at Davis, California, have confirmed deleterious effects on lactating goats which were allowed to graze on leaves of ‘Anaheim’ avocado an hour each day for 2 days. Milk was curdled and not milkable, the animals ground their teeth, necks were swollen and they coughed, but the animals would still accept the leaves on the 4th day of the experiment. By the 10th day, all but one goat were on the road to recovery. All abnormal signs had disappeared 20 days later. In another test, leaves of a Guatemalan variety were stored for 2 weeks in plastic bags and then given to 2 Nubian goats in addition to regular feed over a period of 2 days. Both suffered mastitis for 48 hours. Avocado leaves in a pool have killed the fish. Canaries have died from eating the ripe fruit. The seeds, ground and mixed with cheese or cornmeal, have been used to poison rodents. However, tests in Hawaii did not show any ill effect on a mouse even at the rate of 1/4 oz (7 g) per each 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight, though the mouse refused to eat the dried, grated seed material until it was blended with cornmeal. Avocado seed extracts injected into guinea pigs have caused only a few days of hyperexcitability and anorexia. At Davis, mice given 10 to 14 g of half-and-half normal ration and either fresh or dried avocado seed died in 2 or 3 days, though one mouse given 4 times the dose of the others survived for 2 weeks.

    The seed contains 13.6% tannin, 13.25% starch. Amino acids in the seed oil are reported as: capric acid, 0.6; myristic, 1.7; X, 13.5; palmitic, 23.4; X, 10.4; stearic, 8.7; oleic, 15.1; linoleic, 24.1; linolenic, 2.5%. The dried seed contains 1.33% of a yellow wax containing sterol and organic acid. The seed and the roots contain an antibiotic which prevents bacterial spoilage of food. It is the subject of two United States patents.

    The bark contains 3.5% of an essential oil which has an anise odor and is made up largely of methyl chavicol with a little anethole.

    from: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/avocado_ars.html#Toxicity

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