The Real Reason Packaged Guacamole Stays Green

Avocados and the creamy guacamole you can make with these fruits are staples for many an American household. In fact, the blog The Post Game shares that Americans ate 8 million pounds of crowd-pleasing guacamole during 2017 Super Bowl watch parties and celebrations. And per Statista, in 2020, Americans chowed down on 2.6 billion pounds of avocados, an increase of six times what we were noshing on in 1985. Clearly, numbers don't lie. We love this stuff. But what really spurred this increase? 

Guac makers say it isn't just love of this dip that has contributed to our high volume of consumption, although the high demand is definitely part of it. Produce Processing revealed it is largely due to the technology that keeps those mass produced packaged versions of this favorite spread from turning brown that has caused this industry's growth. So, what is the secret manufacturers are using to keep their guac from turning an unsightly brownish-gray that causes many of us to toss it into the circular? How do these food companies keep their guacamole green for so long? It has to be more than just squeezing a little lemon or citric acid into their mashed up avocado, right? The answer is, yes, manufacturers have developed a natural way of preserving our precious guacamole. What is it?

High pressure processing is the answer

Produce Processing shares that high pressure processing (HPP) is the key to keeping packaged guacamole nice and green. What is HPP? Jaime Nicolas, director of the Spanish company Hiperbaric, which has its U.S. headquarters in Miami, Florida, told Produce Processing, "Traditionally, foods have been processed with thermal pasteurization or preservatives. HPP is a way to extend shelf life naturally with cold pressure." But it also keeps it perfectly green. The marvels of science! 

Nicolas went on to say that the process takes all of three minutes, and the pressure is so great it is like being "dropped into the sea 40 miles." During those three minutes, HPP kills all the bacteria and other bad stuff, but it doesn't alter the taste. Instead, you are left with seemingly evergreen guacamole that is still as guacamole lovers would want it to be when it hits their taste buds. 

We must like it, because per Huff Post, Wholly Guacamole, a mass produced guacamole, has been leading sales in the United States for 10 years straight. And according to Deli Business, refrigerated guacamole dips raked in approximately $585 million during a 52 week selling period. Sadly, HPP is not something that we can replicate in our own homes, so we will have to stick with other tricks of the culinary trade to keep our guac green and ready to eat.