The avocado tree (Persea americana mill.) belongs to the genus Persea and family Laureaceae. It reaches about 4-20 metres in height, with a diameter of about 0.6 meter. It is a year-round green tree with a smooth grey bark. The avocado fruit itself is considered a berry. For sufficient growth the plant needs a light-intensive and frost-free location, as well as a nutrient-rich soil with plenty of moisture. Since too much moisture would lead to root rot, plantations are irrigated at intervals. Although over 200 varieties are known worldwide only the Fuerte and Hass varieties are cultivated. The plant has monoecious flowers that appear and ripen at uneven times of the day. Hence no pollination takes place as the male and female reproductive organs are never open. at the same time. To avoid this, plants are grown at each location with alternating maturity. It takes the tree 6 - 10 years to flower which makes a subsequent crop rotation possible.
Avocado cultivation takes place mainly in tropical and subtropical climates, especially in Asia and America. The main producers worldwide include Mexico, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia.
The fruits are harvested carefully by hand and mechanically. Time of harvesting is essential for the oil yield since the content increases from 10 % at the beginning up to 25 %.
To produce Avocado butter, avocado oil as the main ingredient must be extracted first.
There are several methods of producing avocado oil (extraction, pressing, others), where these may also differ in the way the fruit is processed (with or without skin). A frequently used method is cold pressing. Skin and pit are separated from the fruit and the resulting pulp is smashed. Next, water is added to achieve a higher yield. The avocado oil is now separated from water and solids in several centrifuges and finally refined / purified as required.
Other processes are:extraction using organic solvents/supercritical gases or ultrasonic digestion.
To achieve the desired rheological properties, vegetable fats (e.g. shea butter) are added and stirred.
Due to its good rheological properties, avocado butter is used for further processing as a cosmetic base. Direct use as a skin care product is also possible.