Economic Significance of Avocado Pear in Nigeria

Ogunwusi A. A., Ibrahim H. D.


Avocado, commonly referred to as the African pear is a well-known plant in West Africa.  It has contributed immensely to the volume of local and communal trade during season.  The plant has export potential and it is contributing positively to economics of countries such as Mexico, South Africa and Kenya through the export of its fruits.  In 2015, Peru exported avocado fruits totalling US$282.75 to the Dutch market, Spain, UK, Chile and Costa-Rica. Although adequately available in Nigeria, this plant species is not yet well developed.  However, in view of its industrial utilisation potential, it has become important that avocado pear be sustainably developed for industrial use.  Avocado contains 30% oil and the lipid content varies from 5 – 25% depending on cultivar.  The plant contains myristic acid level of about 0.1%, palmitic acid which varies from 7 – 12% and stearic acid of about 1 – 1.7%.  The unsaturated fatty acid include palmitoleic acid, 5.5 to 11%; oleic acids, 52 – 81% and unsaponifiables 1.6 to 2.4%.  The amino acid contents of the pulp are glutamic acid, 12.3%; aspartic acid, 22.6% and alanine 6%. Industrially, the oil can be used for hair cream, facial lotion and soap production.  It is of great importance in the cosmetic industry in view of its photosterol content.  It also has an array of vitamins, most especially, vitamins A, B and C which are useful against skin wrinkling.  The fruit can also be used in the production of snacks.

Keywords: Vitamins, Photosterol, Guacamole, Oil, Senescence

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