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Avocado is a type of fruit, although it is typically used in savory dishes. It has a light green, creamy inner flesh with a mild, buttery taste. Once you pick or purchase whole ripe avocados, they have a relatively short shelf life, approximately three days in the refrigerator. If don’t store avocados correctly, they can become overly soft and inedible. Proper temperature during storage is essential in the preservation of avocados, according to the California Avocado Commission.

Squeeze each avocado to determine if it is ripe. If they are hard and unyielding, place them onto your kitchen counter to ripen for three days or until they become slightly soft when you squeeze them. Refrigerating hard, unripe avocados will delay the ripening process.

Place your whole, ripened avocados directly onto your refrigerator shelf. Store the avocados away from apples or bananas because these fruits give off ethylene gas, which can cause the avocados to become overripe.

Keep whole avocados in your refrigerator for a maximum of three days. Remove the outer peel and inner pit just prior to eating the avocado flesh; the longer the avocado flesh is exposed to oxygen, the faster it will start to become brown.

Transfer any uneaten avocado flesh into an airtight container. Slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice onto the avocado flesh to slow down the oxidizing process that makes the avocado flesh turn brown. Discard any lemon seeds.

Consume the avocado flesh within two days for the best results. Discard any browned areas of the fruit pieces before eating.


If you can’t use up your avocado within three days, mash up the flesh and transfer it into an airtight container; it will freeze for up to three months and you can use the mashed avocado as a sandwich spread or dip.


Never store ripe avocados in closed bags or they will continue to ripen to the point of spoiling.

About the Author

Allison Boelcke

Allison Boelcke graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's in English and a minor in psychology. She worked in print journalism for three years before deciding to pursue Internet writing. She is now a contributing web writer for Demand Studios and Conjecture Corporation.