The perfect plant
Mexican growers developed a unique technique to create the perfect fruit. By manually taking the best of the Patron avocado plant (the branches) and the best of the Criollo avocado plant (the roots), and grafting from one plant to the other one, they literally hand make the most perfect avocado plant in the world. The results: the beauty of the Hass fruit with the strong roots of the Criollo plant. Hand grafting two trees together is a painstaking process, but in three to five years, the small tree will start producing up to 750 pounds of fruit per year, harvested by a team of pickers.
The pickers use a pole to pick the avocados directly from the tree, since knocking them to the grown can risk bruising the fruit. The strict quality control applied throughout the avocado growth process mandates that once the fruit touches the ground, that fruit can’t be exported.
Once they arrive at the packing house, samples are sliced and diced to ensure that only the perfect fruits pass to the next step of the process, where they will be washed and brushed until their natural wax shines through. Gleaming avocados pass through the rollers at the incredible rate of 25 avocados per second, a speed rate that the human eye can’t keep up with. An engineer spot checks the green flash using an electronic eye, a machine that houses three cameras and takes four photos per second of the fruit whizzing by, which are then analyzed. The camera can detect differences in size and any skin imperfections. Those that pass the quality test are sent by rollers to their allocated packers, who then quickly pack them into 55 pound crates; from there, in only 48 hours they make it to your supermarket shelves.
The avocados with less-than-perfect skins are designated to be turned into first-class guacamole, and only the best of that lot are uploaded into refrigerated containers to ensure that the differences in temperatures don’t affect the fruit that is exported.