The Great Avocado Caper
Deposits of white material on avocado surfaces appearing at a food processing company were submitted to our laboratory for analysis. Each avocado was sealed separately in plastic and no package tampering was observed during a careful examination. The white material was isolated and recrystallized. Polarized light microscopy demonstrated that the vast majority of the residue was comprised of a single, crystalline phase. Chemical analysis identified these crystals as perseitol, a naturally occurring sugar in avocados. The client was pleased to learn that the offending material was related to the product and not a result of foreign contamination or tampering.