Cancel OK

Most believe grapefruit originated in Barbados in the 1700s where it was known as the ‘forbidden fruit.’ In the next century, Scottish botanist James MacFayden mistakenly thought it was a pummelo mutation naming it Citrus paradisi in 1837. The name was amended in 1948 to Citrus x paradisi after scientists agreed it was a hybrid of a pummelo and an orange.

Grapefruit trees can grow to 20 feet or higher. Branches are covered with short thorns and trees grow well in warm, subtropical climates as temperature affects the flowering to fruit maturity timeline. Even within the same geographic area or state, the warmer the temperature, the shorter the flowering period.

Grapefruit Seasonal Availability Chart

Types & Varieties
Grapefruit flesh ranges from white to pink to red; some are sweet, some are tart, and others are bitter. Varieties are divided into two main groups: red/pink and white/yellow with names reflecting their flesh type: Flame, Ruby Red, Rio Red, Star, and Lavender Gem (red or pink); Duncan, Marsh, Melo Gold, Oroblanco, and Triumph (white or yellow).

Across the nation, commercial grapefruit groves continue to dwindle in both number and size. Florida, Texas and California are top producers; South Korea is becoming an exporter of note.

CULTIVATION

Dry, subtropical weather yields thicker, rough rinds and low juice; higher humidity produces more desirable fruit. Grapefruit is usually harvested fully ripe with shiny, smooth skin and a solid heft.

Pests & Diseases
Citrus leafminer larvae create shallow tunnels or mines as they feed on young leaves. Aphids feed on the moisture inside leaves and secrete a sticky substance that attracts ants, which do not harm the tree but serve as an indicator of infestation.

Green mold spores are produced by fungus on the surface of infected fruit and are airborne, making it difficult to control. Brown rot is typically associated with high rainfall and restricted air and/or water drainage. Stem end rot is a major decay of the fruit that starts at each end and works its way down the sides.

Storage & Packaging
Optimum storage temperature for up to 6 weeks is 54 to 57°F with 85 to 95% relative humidity. Temperatures below 50°F will cause chilling injury.

References: Florida Department of Citrus, Purdue University, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center, University of California, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, USDA.

GRADES & GOOD ARRIVAL

Generally speaking, the percentage of defects shown on a timely government inspection certificate should not exceed the percentage of allowable defects, provided: (1) transportation conditions were normal; (2) the USDA or CFIA inspection was timely; and (3) the entire lot was inspected.

ARIZONA & CALIFORNIA

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
12 [7 VSD]-3 5
4
3
2
1
15-[8 VSD]-5
15-[8 VSD]-5
14-[8 VSD]-4
13-[7 VSD]-4
12-[7 VSD]-3
58-60°

FLORIDA

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
12 [7 VSD]-3 5
4
3
2
1
15-[8 VSD]-5
15-[8 VSD]-5
14-[7 VSD]-4
13-[7 VSD]-4
12-[7 VSD]-3
50-60°

TEXAS & OTHER STATES

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
see standards 5
4
3
2
1
15-[8 VSD]-4
14-[8 VSD]-4
13-[7 VSD]-3
12-[6 VSD]-2
10-[5 VSD]-2
50-60°

There are no good arrival guidelines for this commodity specific to Canada; U.S. guidelines apply to shipments unless otherwise agreed by contract.

References: DRC, PACA, USDA.


This information is for your personal, noncommercial use only.