Millennials rejoice: New uses for avocado waste on the horizon

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In Texas, a group of researchers at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley discovered a slew of useful compounds in avocado seed husks, a food waste increasing on the back of the exploding popularity of the brunch staple.

“It could very well be that avocado seed husks, which most people consider as the waste of wastes, are actually the gem of gems because the medicinal compounds within them could eventually be used to treat cancer, heart disease and other conditions,” says Debasish Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D. “Our results also suggest that the seed husks are a potential source of chemicals used in plastics and other industrial products.” These include the plasticizer benzyl butyl phthalate, cosmetic ingredient bis(2-butoxyethyl) phthalate, and food additive butylated hydroxytoluene.

Almost 5 million avocados are consumed annually. While seeds are sometimes used to produce edible oil, most of the inedible parts of the avocado are discarded.

The researchers presented their work at the recent 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.