Can you put half an avocado in water in the fridge?

Avocados are a popular and nutritious fruit that are enjoyed around the world. However, once an avocado is cut open, it starts to quickly brown and oxidize as it is exposed to air. This can make the remaining unused portion of a cut avocado unappealing and less tasty. A common question for avocado lovers is whether storing cut avocado in water in the refrigerator can help prevent browning and oxidation, allowing the unused portion to stay fresh and green for longer.

Quick Answer

Yes, you can store cut avocado in water in the refrigerator. Submerging the exposed flesh of cut avocado in water helps prevent oxidation which causes browning. The cold temperature of the refrigerator also slows down oxidation and preserves freshness. Avocado stored in water in the fridge can last for up to 5 days.

Does Storing Avocado in Water Prevent Browning?

Storing cut avocado in water is an effective way to prevent browning. When avocado flesh is exposed to air, an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase causes oxidation which turns the flesh brown. Submerging the cut avocado in water prevents the avocado flesh from coming in contact with air, thus stopping the oxidation process and browning.

In addition, the cool temperature of refrigerator water slows down the enzyme activity that causes browning. The combined effect of cold water storage prevents or drastically reduces browning of cut avocado for several days.

Why Does Avocado Turn Brown After Cutting?

Avocados contain high levels of unsaturated fats. When the flesh of an avocado is cut open and exposed to oxygen in the air, the unsaturated fats undergo oxidation. This chemical reaction produces brown pigments that cause the green color of the avocado to turn brown.

The oxidation process is accelerated by an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase that is present in avocado flesh. This enzyme catalyzes the reaction between the phenolic compounds in the avocado and oxygen, speeding up browning.

Exposure to air causes avocado browning in other ways as well. Air removes moisture from the surface of cut avocado, causing it to dry out. This dried out brown layer on top of the avocado flesh appears brown and unappetizing.

How Does Water Prevent Browning?

Storing cut avocado in water prevents browning in several ways:

  • Water creates a barrier between the avocado flesh and the air, preventing exposure to oxygen.
  • Submerging in cold water reduces the activity of the polyphenol oxidase enzyme that catalyzes browning.
  • The cool temperature of refrigerator water slows down the chemical oxidation reaction.
  • Water keeps the surface of the avocado moist, preventing it from drying out.

By keeping air away from the cut surface and maintaining cool temperatures, water is able to dramatically slow down the browning process and keep avocado green and fresh for much longer.

How to Store Avocado in Water

Storing cut avocado in water is simple and requires minimal effort. Here are some tips on the best way to store avocado halves or slices in water:

Use a Container with a Tight Fitting Lid

Choose a container or bowl with an airtight and watertight lid. Plastic food storage containers or glass bowls with lids work well. The lid helps keep water in and air out.

Fill Container with Cool Water

Fill the container with cool water. Use cold filtered water for best results. You can use tap water as long as it is cool. Do not use hot or warm water as it will promote browning.

Submerge the Avocado

Gently place the cut side of the avocado down in the water. Make sure all of the exposed green flesh is completely covered by water. Having even a small portion above the water line can lead to browning.

Optional: Add Lemon Juice

For extra prevention of browning, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the water. The acidity in lemon juice inhibits oxidation and complements the avocado flavor.


After submerging the avocado in water, seal the container with the lid and refrigerate. Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator, such as the bottom shelf.

Change Water Daily

Change the water daily to keep it fresh. Used water may start to become cloudy which indicates oxidation is occurring. Replacing with fresh cool water helps maximize freshness.

How Long Does Avocado Last in Water?

Avocado stored in refrigerated water can last for up to 5 days before going bad. However, it’s best consumed within 3-4 days for optimal taste and texture.

Here is a breakdown of how long cut avocado lasts in water refrigeration:

Storage Time Avocado Quality
1-2 days Best quality, perfect green color, great flavor
3-4 days Good quality, moderate browning, decent flavor
5 days Edible but losing flavor and oxidizing
6-7 days Inedible, extensive browning, poor texture

For maximum freshness, use avocado stored in water within 2 days. The longer avocado sits in water, the more the texture and flavor will degrade.

Signs Avocado Has Gone Bad

Look for these signs that refrigerated avocado has gone bad and should be discarded:

  • Extensive browning throughout flesh
  • Slimy texture
  • Foul smell
  • Mold growth
  • Dark or murky water

Tips for Storing Avocado in Water

Follow these tips for best results when storing cut avocado in water:

Use Ripe Avocados

Start with ripe avocados. Unripe firm avocados don’t last as long in water. Use avocados that yield slightly to gentle pressure.

Cut Just Before Storing

Wait to cut the avocado until right before you plan to store it in water. The longer the cut flesh is exposed to air, the quicker browning starts.

Remove Pit and Peel

Be sure to remove the pit and peel from the avocado before submerging in water. Leaving these on can lead to faster deterioration.

Use Cold Water

Use the coldest water possible, such as refrigerated filtered water. Warm water promotes ripening which leads to faster spoilage.

Monitor Water Freshness

Check the water daily and change if it starts looking cloudy or murky. Fresher water equals fresher avocado.

Don’t Freeze

Do not attempt to freeze avocado stored in water. Freezing will cause the avocado flesh to become mushy and waterlogged.

What About Other Fruit in Water?

Storing cut fruit in water works well for some other types of fruit besides avocado. Fruits that also do well preserved in refrigerated water include:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines

The cool water prevents cut surfaces from browning through similar anti-oxidation properties as avocado storage. Change the water daily for best quality.

Fruits like grapes, berries and pineapple do not work as well in water storage as they tend to get mushy and waterlogged.

Storing Without Water

If you don’t want to use the water method, cut avocado can also be stored by:

  • Wrapping tightly in plastic wrap
  • Placing face down on a plate
  • Coating exposed surfaces with lemon juice
  • Keeping peel intact

However, the water storage method is one of the most effective ways to prevent browning and deterioration of cut avocado in the refrigerator.


Storing cut avocado in water in the refrigerator is an easy and efficient way to extend the life of unused portions. The water creates a protective barrier against air exposure which oxidizes and browns the avocado flesh. Refrigeration also slows down enzymatic browning. With proper storage in cold water and daily water changes, cut avocado can last for up to 5 days before spoiling.

Follow these best practices for storing avocado in water: Use ripe avocados, cut right before refrigerating, submerge all flesh in cold water in an airtight container, change the water daily, and consume within 2-4 days for best flavor and texture. Taking advantage of this simple water storage method can help reduce food waste and allow you to enjoy fresh avocado for longer.

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