The Bioprocessing Quick Wins from Avocado Fruit in Uganda
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Bioprocessing can help redeem the economic value for avocado (Persea americana) in Uganda. This study reviews the virgin potential of avocado bioprocessing in Uganda. Avocado consists of flesh, seed, and peel. The review indicates that the waste seed and peel are vital for development of high-value products. Both the edible part and waste (peel and seed) can be used for biogas production through a solid-state fermentation process. Biodiesel can be developed using avocado seed oil through a process called transesterification. Avocado oil is a better alternative for biodiesel production compared to waste cooking oil as it requires no further conversions processes for transforming fatty acids to esters. The starch-rich avocado seed is a suitable substrate for bioethanol, pigment and starch production. The high starch content places the avocado fruit as a potential: 1) raw material for the production of bioplastics; 2) substrate for bacterial culture media production as opposed to potatoes, cereals, and cassava that double as a staple food. Avocado seeds can also be used for the production of antioxidants relevant for preventing enzymatic browning, thereby increasing product shelf life. Despite the quick wins, there is a need for increased research, financing, personnel training and development of appropriate policies to spur the benefits and untapped potential of avocado bioprocessing in Uganda. The circular economy of avocado waste alone into high-value products could increase gains in the environment and stimulate industrial development, especially the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries in Uganda.