Avocado Seed Husks: Potential Gold Mines for Medication and Consumer Goods
- A new study shows: avocado seed husks contain an astonishingly high number of compounds of medical value
- The compounds might prevent growth of tumor cells
Washington, October 2017 – What was long considered to be a waste could soon undergo a trash-to-treasure transformation: the avocado seed husk. In August 2017, at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), headquartered in Washington, DC., scientists from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley revealed that avocado seed husks, which are usually tossed away along with the seed, can be considered as hidden gold mines bearing an, until now, unrecognized wealth of chemical compounds of medical value.
“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 from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “Our results also suggest that the seed husks are a potential source of chemicals used in plastics and other industrial products.”
The researchers extracted oil and wax from the seed husk of a total of 300 dried avocados. In the oil, the researcher discovered behenyl alcohol, an important ingredient used in anti-viral medications; heptacosane, which might inhibit the growth of tumor cells; and dodecanoic acid, which helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. In the wax, the researchers detected benzyl butyl phthalate, a plasticizer used to promote flexibility in numerous synthetic products and bis(2-butoxyethyl) phthalate, which is used in cosmetics.
Moving forward, Bandyopadhyay says his team will modify several of these natural compounds so that they can be used to
create better medications as well as to enhance the allure of cosmetics, perfumes and other consumer goods.
About the World Avocado Organization (WAO)
The World Avocado Organization’s (WAO) primary purpose is to promote and increase the consumption, awareness and value of avocados in international markets. It was established in February 2016 as an international non-profit organization. Based in Washington, D.C., the WAO represents some of the world’s largest avocado producers, exporters and importers, including Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the United States of America.
The EU, including the UK, is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide and already the second-largest market for imported avocados in the world. It is expected to grow by at least 15 percent per year in the next five years.