Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Avocado tree; Persea americana mill.; Persea gratissima C.F.Gaertn.

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The avocado belongs to the laurel family (Lauraceae) and is native to Mexico, but is now cultivated in over 400 cultivars worldwide in the tropics, including Mediterranean countries.

The avocado tree, which can grow up to 15 m high, is evergreen and grows in warm, drier areas. The dark green leaves are up to 45 centimetres long. The plant bears small yellow-greenish flowers.

The avocado fruit, is pear-shaped to oval; depending on the species, its leathery outer skin is medium to dark green with a kernel about 3-5 cm in size. The avocado fruit has a yellowish or greenish flesh, which quickly takes on a dark colour when exposed to air through oxidation.

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Persea americana is the parent plant of Oleum Perseae, the official avocado oil. Avocado oil is obtained from the pulp of the avocado by cold pressing. It is widely used as an edible oil.


  • Avocado oil is widely used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. The INCI designation is: Persea gratissima extract.
  • Persea gratissima cera (INCI) is the semi-solid (waxy) fraction of avocado oil.
  • Persea gratissima oil unsaponifiables (INCI) is an unsaponifiable residue from avocado oil.
  • Persea gratissima powder (INCI) is a powder obtained from the avocado fruit.

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Avocado oil;