To ensure every fruit satisfies the consumer expectations of flavor, consistency, and color, Mexican avocados go through a quality control process called dry matter testing.
Avocados have a creamy flavor, smooth texture, and vivid green hue — all characteristics that make them so beloved by consumers. For the avocado producers and packers in Michoacán, Mexico, there is a science to achieving that deliciousness expected by U.S. consumers.
The key to procuring avocados with delicious taste and optimal consistency is in the fruit’s oil content. Without enough oil, avocados lack the flavor, texture, color, and overall quality that consumers expect and crave. To ensure every avocado exported to the U.S. meets those standards, avocado packers test for an adequate oil percentage through a process called dry matter testing.
Implemented in 2007 by the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM), the dry matter test has become an essential step in the export process for consumers, growers, and packers alike. Because it is the only dry matter test certified by APEAM, every exported Mexican avocado is tested using the exact same process, helping to provide consistent quality and nutritious value in every shipment.
Unlike many of the industry’s food safety procedures, the dry matter test is not a mandated step in the avocado export program. Rather, it is a measure self-imposed by APEAM to establish a set standard of quality for every exported fruit.
The packers conduct the dry matter test each harvest season. Doing so reassures the packers and growers of APEAM that they are only exporting delicious, creamy avocados — the kind that will satisfy both APEAM members and U.S. consumers.
Avocados always go through the dry matter testing process at the packer’s stage of the export cycle, but the test is so simple and inexpensive that you could conduct it at home.
The final step is calculating the dry matter percentage. To find this number, the tester follows this formula:Dry Matter % Formula:
net dried weight
——————— X 100
net wet weight
The higher the dry matter percentage, the higher the oil content inside an avocado. The higher the oil content, the more flavor the avocado has.
The avocado industry has determined that an avocado’s dry matter percentage must be greater than 23%. Anything less does not meet the standard of export.
Because all exported avocados match that dry matter percentage set by APEAM, consumers can trust that every Mexican avocado they bring home will have the creamy flavor and consistency they’re used to tasting, time and time again — and farmers can remain confident that their avocados are some of the best quality in the world.