Avocado Hass

History of Hass Avocado

Hass avocado, known as Hass aguacate or palta by Spanish speakers in many regions of the world, is the name of the fruit of Hass avocado tree, a variety originated from a Guatemalan-race seed in an orchard owned by Mr. R. G. Hass in La Habra, California in 1926. It was patented in 1935 and globally introduced in the market in 1960; it is the most cultivated variety in the world.

During the 2007 World Avocado Congress held in Chile, the Chilean Avocado Committee received a present from the president of the California Avocado Society, a hammer carved from the first Hass Avocado tree, original from the R.G. Hass’s orchard in La Habra, California.

One of the industry’s main landmarks over the last 20 years has been the predominance of Hass variety over Fuerte in the major countries producing quality avocados. The wide acceptance of Hass in almost every world market has strengthened the demands for black and rough-skin avocados in comparison with green and smooth-skin avocados.

The preference for black avocados has drastically changed priorities for the genetic improvement of avocado trees; in fact, only a small number of many of the new green varieties have been planted. The long harvest season is one of Hass’s greatest qualities, which together with its great quality, has incremented the world consumption of avocados.

The oil content of Hass avocado varies as the fruit is becoming suitable for harvest, with this starting when the fruit reaches 9% of oil, which may also achieve up to 22% approximately. The water content is low compared with other varieties, fluctuating between 60% and 70%. It contains 12 of the 13 vitamins known, with high content of B and E complexes.

Both fruit and seed are relatively small with size that goes from 200 to 300 grams. The skin is a bit leather-like, rough, and green which changes to black when ripe, that is suitable for consumption.

The fruit has excellent quality, with no fiber, high resistance during transport and long postharvest life.

It blossoms once a year from the beginning to the end of spring. It is fit for harvest from the ninth month of blossom, July, and the harvest finishes in February-March.

Once the proper physiological maturity is reached, Hass avocados can remain in the tree for several months, in such a way that the tree acts as a storage plant, which allows a considerably longer harvesting period. This is one of the most significant characteristics of Hass cultivar.

Growing Regions

Chile is divided politically into 14 Regions, plus the Metropolitan Region. We border Peru and Bolivia in the north. In the southern end, we reach to Antarctica.

There are more than 26 thousand hectares of Hass avocados planted in Chile. The distribution of cultivation per region is as follows:

• IV Region: 17%
• V Region: 61%
• Metropolitan Region: 15%
• VI Region: 3%

The biggest avocado producing zone is Region 5, in which the fertile Quillota–La Cruz and La Ligua–Cabildo Valleys are key production zones. These zones each have a frost-free climate, and receive high quality water from the Aconcagua, Petorca and Ligua rivers.