Winter time in Tzaneen is when we celebrate the wonder fruit of the moment – Avocado’s!
Avocado cultivation was commercialised by the work of pioneers like Dr Wilson Popenoe at the beginning of the 20th century and is now widely used in many areas outside its centre of origin.
In South Africa, Dr Hans Merensky initiated the first avocado orchard plantings at Westfalia Estate in 1933, and currently the avocado is grown in the tropics on both sides of the equator and in subtropical regions up to 43o latitude.
Approximately 76% of avocados are produced in the Americas, 11% in Africa, 9% in Asia, 2% in Europe and 2% in the South Pacific.
The chief characteristic of the avocado fruit is its oil content, which ranges from 5% to 30% of the fresh pulp weight. Its oil content makes it an important source of energy, while its minerals and proteins contribute to making avocados a nutritious food source. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, are of interest since other fruits contain little or none of these.
Benefits and usages of avocado’s
For the health conscious…
Avocado oil is naturally cholesterol free and contains monounsaturated fatty acids. It is a source of omega-3 fatty acids and it contains healthy, plant-based unsaturated oil components that provide an efficient source of energy.
For the beauty conscious…
Avocado oil has nourishing, hydrating and regenerating properties, and is therefore suited for use in cosmetic products formulated for damaged, mature, dry and/or sensitive skins. The unsaponifiable components in avocado oil aid toning, softening and restructuring of the epidermis. Ideal for use in massage lotions, avocado oil can also be used in products caring for the delicate skin around the eyes.
For the food connoisseur…
Avocado oil is suitable for any cooking purpose, including baking, drizzling, dipping, roasting and frying. The high smoke-point of the oil means that it remains stable when placed under high heat (anywhere up to 250 degrees Celsius).
Guacamole is most commonly known as an accompaniment to Mexican dishes such as nachos and tortillas. Its uses are extremely versatile, and with a bit of imagination and creativity, avocado can be served hot and cold.
For more information on Avocado’s contact:
South African Avocado Growers Association
015 307 3677 / 015 306 6240
Address: 13 Peace Street, Tzaneen, 0850