Rotten avocados are defined by an exceedingly soft texture, a dark brown skin, visible mold growth, a distinct rancid odor, and the presence of a brown-black liquid seeping from the fruit. These unmistakable signs define the state of decay in avocados, offering a clear visual and odor profile for identifying avocados that have undergone spoilage.
What Does a Rotten Avocado Look Like?
So how can you tell if an avocado has gone bad and become rotten? Here are the most common signs of a rotten avocado:
- Dark or Brown Spots on the Skin – This is one of the first signs of rotting. Small brown/black spots will start to appear on the outer skin of the avocado. As the rotting progresses, these spots will grow in size and number.
- Very Soft or Mushy Flesh – A fresh avocado should have flesh that gives slightly when pressed. As an avocado starts rotting, the flesh will start becoming very soft, mushy and discolored.
- Mold Growth – You may see fuzzy mold growing on the skin or inside the flesh of a rotten avocado. The mold may be white, green, gray or black. This is a sure sign the avocado has spoiled.
- Rancid Smell – A rotten or spoiled avocado will start to smell rancid. The flesh may smell sour or unpleasant.
- Leaking or Oozing – In severe cases of rotting, the avocado may start to leak brown or black liquid. Discoloration and oozing are signs the avocado has become overripe and inedible.
If an avocado displays any of these signs, it has gone bad and should be thrown out.
What are The Stages of Avocado Rot?
The look of a rotten avocado can vary somewhat depending on the severity of the rot. Here are the stages a rotting avocado will go through:
- Early Stage Rot – The avocado will have small brown/black spots on the skin. The flesh just under the skin may have turned brown or grayish in color. When you cut into it, the inner flesh will still be green and look normal.
- Moderate Rot – More dark spots and discoloration will be visible on the surface. Inside, the flesh near the skin will be brown or grayish. Slightly mushy or soft spots may have developed. The inner core will still look relatively normal.
- Severe Rot – The skin will be very discolored with dark splotches or patches. The flesh near the skin will be dark brown or black. The inner flesh will be very soft and mushy, with dark streaks running through it. Rancid smell present.
- Extreme Rot – The avocado will be leaking liquid, smell terrible and the flesh with be completely blackened, mushy and inedible. Mold may be visibly growing.
So in summary, the more rotten the avocado, the darker, mushier and more discolored the flesh will be. Trust your senses – if it smells bad or feels mushy, don’t eat it!
Do Avocado Pits Rot?
The answer is yes, avocado pits can absolutely rot if the fruit has gone bad. Here’s what a rotten avocado pit looks like compared to a fresh one:
- The pit will be very soft and mushy when poked at. A fresh pit is solid and hard.
- It may have dark brown or blackish discoloration.
- Mold may visibly be growing on the outside of the pit.
- It may have an unpleasant, sour or rancid smell.
So while the pit is more resistant to rotting than the flesh, it’s certainly not immune. If the flesh of the avocado shows signs of rot, you can assume the pit is also spoiled and should not be eaten. Safest bet is to discard the entire avocado.
Rotten Avocado Inside: What Does it Look Like?
Cutting open a rotten avocado reveals the full extent of the rotting you can’t see from the outside. Here’s what you’ll see inside a rotten avocado:
- Brown or black, mushy flesh near the skin of the avocado. This spreads inward as rotting progresses.
- Slime formation inside the flesh nearest the skin.
- Unpleasant odors coming from the inner flesh.
- Dark streaks or spots spreading from the skin into the inner flesh.
- Complete blackening or browning of the inner flesh in severe cases.
- Watery, slimy liquid that leaks out when you cut into severely rotten avocado flesh.
If you see any of these signs spread beyond the outermost flesh of the avocado, you should discard it. The rot and bacteria has spread too far into the fruit. Consuming it could make you sick.
Signs of a Spoiled Avocado
“Spoiled” and “rotten” mean the same thing when it comes to avocados. Here are the top signs that an avocado has become spoiled and is unsafe to eat:
- Brown or black spots on the skin that grow in size
- Very mushy, soft consistency when squeezed
- Gray/brown discoloration of the inner flesh
- Strong unpleasant odors
- Mold growth on the skin or pit
- Dark streaks or spots in the flesh
- Watery liquid leaking out
- Rancid taste if you taste a small bite
If an avocado shows multiple signs of spoilage, you should throw it out. Consuming spoiled avocado can potentially result in food poisoning.
How to Avoid Rotten Avocados
To make sure you don’t end up with rotten avocados, follow these tips:
- Inspect avocados carefully before purchasing. Avoid fruits with bruises or skin damage.
- Only buy avocados that feel slightly soft when squeezed gently. Don’t purchase rock hard ones.
- Store avocados in the refrigerator after they ripen to slow deterioration.
- If half an avocado remains after use, leave pit in and wrap tightly with plastic wrap to limit air exposure.
- Consume within 1-2 days of cutting into an avocado.
- Compost avocados as soon as they show any signs of rotting.
Following proper storage, handling and food safety practices will help you enjoy avocados at their peak ripeness, avoiding the unpleasant taste and health hazards of rotten fruits. Know what to look for and when in doubt, throw it out!