Canned avocado could soon be on sale in the UK after a new technique was pioneered by technicians in Argentina.

It is touted as a way of increasing avocados' shelf life without sacrificing their nutrient content. Past efforts to develop canned product have foundered on the fruit's high oil content and the fact that oxidation turns the flesh brown. The other alternative, freezing, improves the shelf life of avocado but destroys some of the nutrients that make the fruit popular.

The Argentinean solution is to coat the avocado and treat it with an antioxidant. It lengthens the shelf-life of pasteurised avocado pulp and dry avocado powder to at least six months.

Inventors Diego Prieto and Martin Cecchini hope that it will make it easier to exploit the rising demand in Europe and elsewhere. Consumption in France alone has risen from 400g per head to 1,500g, according to figures from Research and Markets.