The avocado fruit is both nutritious and delicious, making it a favorite among many, especially the health buffs. Its sensitivity to oxidation, however, can turn its appetizing green yumminess into icky brown in a matter of seconds once sliced or pulped.
To help resolve this natural annoyance, Australian company Naturo has come up with the Natavo Zerom, a large machine that promises to slow down the browning process of the fruit without using chemicals.
“By understanding the avocado’s life-cycle and the complex correlation of enzymes involved in the browning process, we have made it possible for the world to enjoy 100% natural, ready-to-eat avocado slices, dices, chunks or pulped products while retaining the flavor and fresh taste of avocado, without browning,” director of Naturo and inventor of the contraption, Jeff Hastings said in a statement.
The technique involved “switching off” the enzyme responsible for the color change (called polyphenol oxidase) by utilizing pressure fluctuations produced by steam. The process also reportedly removes disease-causing bugs.
Using a conveyor belt, opened or sliced avocados are placed inside the “avocado time machine” where they are treated for 5-6 minutes. Doing so will keep avocados fresh for 10 days, the company claimed.
Hastings told Mashable that the amount of wasted avocados due to oxidation frustrated him. “It’s one of those fruits that you buy and eat where you inherently suffer disappointment, because it’s already gone brown or it goes to waste,” he said.
Aimed at large-scale food processing businesses, the company has made two models available for sale at the moment: one machine that is able to process 250 kilograms (551 lbs) per hour, and another that can do 500 kilograms (1,102 lbs) per hour. While such machines for home use is a possibility in the future, the company’s current focus is mainly businesses.
“Our focus is definitely on the industry, [to those] who provide a finished product to consumers, like fast food restaurants or airlines. However, it’s not impossible for us to develop a consumer scale product in future,” he said.