“The board is very committed to this,” said Obregon, who expects preliminary results from the first round of studies to be available within a year.
“It is really a big commitment on the part of the avocado industry to spend millions of dollars to do these human-based research (projects),” said Jim Donovan, vice president of business development, Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif., and chairman of the Hass Avocado Board.
“We’re able to focus on this generic work that ultimately will benefit all the stakeholders,” he said.
Results of the studies eventually will be available online, he said.
The industry already is making progress spreading the word about the nutrition value of avocados.
Not long ago, many consumers perceived avocados as a fattening food to be avoided, Obregon said. Now they realize that avocados contain good fat that the body needs, and the fruit’s nutrient content has become the main reason shoppers buy them.