Canning Guacamole

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Updated on May 29, 2022

Guacamole is a dip made from avocado fruit added with lime juice, salt, onion, and cilantro. This delicious is very popular in Mexican cuisine and has since become popular across the globe.

Naturally, avocadoes, which the guacamole is made of, oxidize quickly and turn brown. To address this issue, people have started to develop several ways to preserve guacamole and maintain its vibrant green color. Some cover it with plastic wrap, store it in a clean jar, or store it in a can. As long as it is air-free, it can maintain its original color and taste. However, canning guacamole is a very uncommon process since it can be disastrous to the product if done incorrectly.

Can guacamole be canned?

Yes, Guacamole can be canned

Although it is very unusual to store guacamole in a can, it is one of the practices to preserve guacamole in some places. In fact, one brand in Budapest named Granny’s Fine Snack has been manufacturing canned guacamole. A lot of people would still not agree with this process as the avocado’s pH level is said to be way over for a water bath canning, which could destroy the properties of the guac. People are also questioning the quality, the taste, and safety of the product. There is another way of canning it, but that is through a mason jar, which is more acceptable by the general consumers. 

Although guacamole is unusually canned by some, it is generally acceptable to can an avocado by dry freezing. This process preserves the original properties of the fruit for over 25 years, as long sealed in oxygen or moisture-free environment.

Is it safe to can guacamole?

Canned fruits, including guacamole have passed the regulatory requirement for food safety

Products released to the market are usually safe and have passed the regulatory requirement for food safety. In fact, canned goods, including guacamole, will last for years, as long as the can itself is in good condition. It is important to notice the expiration date indicated in a canned good, such as guacamole to avoid possible food poisoning. Just like any other canned goods, guacamole can harbor an anaerobic micro-organism (an organism that survives without oxygen), which could harm a person if ingested.

How to store guacamole in a can?

There is no published process on how to store guacamole in a can.

Although, there is no published process on how to preserve guacamole in a can, Military Ready to Eat has been developed for the fruit used to make guacamole- the avocado. It is being freeze-dried and stored in a can and added to the disaster preparedness kit. As soon as needed, you can rehydrate it and eat it as it is or turn it into your favorite guacamole.

To store avocado in a can, you must make sure it is freeze-dried. To freeze dry an avocado, you need to:

Step 1: Choose a fresh avocado

Choose a fresh avocado and remove the lid off its stem. Rinse it with water until it is clean and free from any dirt.

Step 2: Prepare the fruit

Once cleaned, peel the avocado, and cut to remove the seed.

Step 3: Soak in lime juice

Cut the fruit into dice and soak with juice to prevent browning (oxidation).

Step 4: Freeze dry

Put the cubed avocadoes in a tray at about 5 to 6 mm space and put it in a freeze-dry machine to complete the drying process for 8 hours using a cooling power ratio of 0.5-1:1.

What techniques are used to maintain the quality of guacamole in a can?

Freeze-dry the avocado to maintain the quality of the fruit.

When avocado is exposed to air (oxygen), it undergoes a chemical process called oxidation. The fruit will lose its green color and turns brown. In this process, the fruit also loses some of its nutrients. Thus, to maintain its quality, soaking in lime juice, dehydrating, and freeze-drying the avocado are some of the known techniques to maintain its quality and longevity. A freeze-dried avocado can last up to 25 years.

How to retain the color of guacamole when canning?

Use lime juice to maintain its color.

When the guacamole sits in a room temperature for about two hours, it reacts to the oxygen in the air and gradually turns brown. This happens because, Avocados possess an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase that reacts to oxygen, causing the browning of the guacamole. Further, exposure causes bacterial growth that may lead to foodborne diseases. Thus, retaining its color is crucial, not just for its quality but for food safety. To keep its color, techniques such as soaking with lime juice and dehydrating the fruit can save its vibrant green color. Lime juice has ascorbic acid and has a low (acidic) pH level that could maintain the color of the guacamole.

Does canned guacamole taste good like the freshly prepared guacamole?

Nothing can taste better than freshly prepared guacamole.

Store-brought canned guacamole may contain preservatives like citric acid, which is sometimes unsavory. Unlike homemade guacamole, it is free from preservatives, and aside from that, it is cheaper and easy to prepare according to your preference.