pair of hands holding two avocados
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
May 5, 2024 ·  4 min read

The Best and Safest Way to Store Avocados and Prevent Them From Browning

Avocados are a popular fruit known for their creamy texture and numerous health benefits. However, storing avocados can be a challenge, as they tend to brown easily when exposed to air. While there are various methods suggested to prevent browning, it is essential to be aware of the best and safest ways to store avocados. There are right ways, wrong ways, and less safe ways to store avocados, so let’s have a look at which ways are both effective at preventing browning and keeping your avocados safe to eat.

The Risky Method: Storing Avocados in Water

Two halves of avocado splashing into clear water, isolated on light blue background. Health food concept
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One method that gained popularity through social media platforms like TikTok involved storing whole or cut avocados in water to keep them fresh for longer. The idea behind this method is to slow down the oxidation process, which is responsible for avocados turning brown when exposed to air. It works by placing the avocado in a container with water and then placing it in the refrigerator. The water acts as a barrier between the air and the avocado, preventing oxidation from occurring. This method is also said to help keep avocados fresh for up to two weeks. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against this practice due to potential health risks. (1)

Read More: This is what happens inside your body when you eat an avocado seed

The Health Risks of Storing Avocados in Water

Avocado in hand is spoiled and moldy. Waste food concept
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So what makes this method so controversial? While storing avocados in water may preserve their freshness and flavor for some time, it can also expose you to foodborne illnesses. Residual human pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes and salmonella, that may be present on the avocado’s surface can multiply when submerged in water. Studies conducted by the FDA found traces of these bacteria on avocado skins, and the potential for contamination exists even in whole, uncut avocados. Consuming contaminated avocados can lead to severe illness and pose a particular risk to pregnant women, newborns, and older adults. (2)

Safe Ways to Store Avocados and Prevent Browning

Avocado also refers to the Avocado tree's fruit, which is botanically a large berry containing a single seed. Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients.
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So, if this effective but unsafe water method is a no-go, what can you do to prevent your avocados from browning? Besides eating the whole avocado in one sitting, which may or may not be the best choice for you, there are several other ways to keep your avocados fresh for use in the coming days. 

1. Proper Storage Conditions

lots of green fresh avocados in a box on the counter in the store,
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  • Avocados should be stored on the counter until ripe, and once ripe, they can be refrigerated to extend their shelf life by a day or two.
  • It is recommended to rinse whole avocados under running water, scrub them to remove any dirt or bacteria, and then dry them with a clean towel before storage.

2. Use Citric Acid

woman squeeze fresh lime juice onto Sliced avocado on wooden cutting board at domestic kitchen
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  • When you cut open an avocado and don’t plan to use the whole fruit immediately, squeeze some lemon or lime juice onto the exposed surface.
  • The citric acid present in these fruits slows down the oxidation process and helps keep avocados fresh for longer.

Read More: Woman Mistakes Wasabi For Avocado, Ends Up In Hospital With “Broken Heart Syndrome”

3. Plastic Wrap

Half of avocado packed in a plastic bag
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  • Wrap the cut avocado tightly with plastic wrap, ensuring there is no air exposure. This can help preserve its freshness and prevent browning.

4. Freezing

Frozen avocado chunks thawing in glass ingredient bowl on table
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  • Freezing avocados is another method to prolong their shelf life and prevent bacterial growth.
  • Quarter the avocados, remove the skin, and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Add a little lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
  • Note that freezing may slightly change the texture of avocados, so they are best used in smoothies or blended recipes.

5. Guacamole Preservation

Bowl of delicious guacamole, nachos chips and ingredients on grey table, closeup
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  • To prevent guacamole from browning, drizzle lime juice on top and directly cover it with plastic wrap, ensuring minimal air exposure.
  • Alternatively, store guacamole in gallon-size bags, flattening the guacamole within the bag to minimize air contact.

The Bottom Line

Portrait of beauty body slim healthy asian woman having fun hold avocado cooking preparing vegan food healthy eat with fresh vegetable salad, vegetarian in kitchen at home.Diet.Fitness, healthy food
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While the appeal of storing avocados in water to prevent browning may seem tempting, it is crucial to prioritize food safety. The FDA warns against this practice due to the risk of microbial contamination. To safely store avocados and prevent browning, follow expert-approved methods such as proper storage conditions, using citric acid, plastic wrap, freezing, and preserving guacamole properly. By employing these methods, you can enjoy fresh and visually appealing avocados without compromising your health.

Read More: What Causes Those Brown Spots on Avocados, and Are They Safe to Eat?


  1. FDA warns against trying TikTok hack for keeping avocados fresh.” ABC7. May 24, 2022
  2. How to Safely Store Avocados (No Water Required!).” Cleveland Clinic