Publication provides comprehensive overview of more than 30 years’ of research into avocado supply chain

A new book charting the history of avocado production hopes to make the trade more sustainable by sharing insights on how the popular green fruit is grown, transported and stored.

Avocado ripening

‘Sustainable production and postharvest handling of avocados’ collates over 30 years’ worth of research into sustainable avocado production by one of the most prominent experts in the field, Professor Elhadi M. Yahia of the Autonomous University of Querétaro in Mexico.

In seven chapters, the book details how the avocado value chain can be optimised to meet growing demand for the fruit, whilst also remaining as sustainable as possible.

“Professor Elhadi Yahia is a thought leader in his field and continues to provide valuable insight to the industry in his most recent publication,” said Adam Thocher, senior vice president of global programs & insights and GCCF executive director, Cold Chain Alliance.

“Professor Yahia captures the entire value chain and shares the best practices on postharvest handling, transportation, and storage of avocados to increase shelf-life and marketability of this hot commodity.”

In the last two decades, avocado plantings have skyrocketed – with reports suggesting that global production has tripled in volume since 2000. But despite its popularity with consumers, there are major concerns about the sustainability of the global avocado industry and its contribution to climate change.

These concerns lie primarily with avocado farming’s contribution to deforestation in Central and South America, the amount of global greenhouse gas emissions produced during transportation, as well as water usage. For example, it has been estimated that around 320 litres of water are required to produce a single avocado.

The book, published by Cambridge-based Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, sets out the numerous nutritional and health benefits of avocados that have helped make them one of the most popular fruits in the produce aisle.

Postharvest handling and treatment of avocado is another topic extensively covered in the book, with detailed discussions on the appropriate procedures for washing and drying, fungicide application, packaging and more.

“Professor Elhadi Yahia is writing a much needed and timely book. Avocado has high nutritional value and in recent years has become a preferred dietary fruit,” said Dr Autar K. Mattoo, Beltsville Agricultural Research Centre in the US.

“I believe that this book will be a great contribution to the existing body of research and become a standard reference work for students, researchers, industry professionals, colleagues and peers around the world.”

Postharvest handling and treatment of avocado is also a topic extensively covered in this new book, with detailed discussions on the appropriate procedures for washing and drying, fungicide application, packaging and more.