CULTIVATION, STORAGE & PACKAGING

Figs will mature and dry slightly on the tree; a slightly droopy stem and some give in the flesh are signs of ripeness. The fruit is best stored at room temperature but can be refrigerated for a few days as well as wrapped and frozen for later use. Optimal temperature storage is from 30 to 32°F, with 90 to 95% relative humidity. The fruit does not tolerate prolonged exposure to cold temperatures below 20°F.

Grades:
There are no U.S. grades for fresh figs, though dried figs are classified as either U.S. Grade A or Grade B. Additionally, there are no U.S. or Canadian good arrival guidelines published for this commodity.

Dried Figs, U.S. Grade A:
Well-matured. Interior shows good sugary tissue development that is gummy but slightly fibrous in texture; or one-third or less of the interior of the fig may be entirely lacking in sugary tissue, if the remainder of the interior of the fig is syrupy and gum-like in consistency and texture.

Total Allowance (white figs)—Not more than a total of 10 percent may be damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, visible sugaring, or other similar defects. Not more than a total of 10 percent may be seriously damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, or other similar defects.

Limited Allowance (white figs)—Not more than one-half the total or 5 percent by count may be seriously damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, or other similar defects.

Total Allowance (black figs)—Not more than a total of 15 percent may be damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, visible sugaring, or other similar defects. Not more than a total of 15 percent may be seriously damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, or other similar defects.

Limited Allowance (black figs)—Not more than seven-fifteenths of the total or 7 percent by count may be seriously damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, or other similar defects.

For U.S. Grade B:
Reasonably well-matured. The sugary tissue in the interior of the fig is gummy and fibrous in consistency and texture; or one-third or less of the interior of the fig may be entirely lacking in sugary tissue, if the remainder of the interior of the fig is gummy but slightly fibrous in consistency and texture; or more than one-third, but less than one-half, of the interior of the fig may be entirely lacking in sugary tissue, if the remainder of the interior is syrupy and gum-like in consistency and texture.

Total Allowance (white figs)—Not more than a total of 15 percent may be damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, visible sugaring, or other similar defects. Not more than a total of 15 percent may be seriously damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, or other similar defects.

Limited Allowance (white figs)—Not more than seven-fifteenths of the total or 7 percent by count may be seriously damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, or other similar defects.

Total Allowance (black figs)—Not more than a total of 20 percent may be damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, visible sugaring, or other similar defects. Not more than a total of 20 percent may be seriously damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, or other similar defects.

Limited Allowance (black figs)—Not more than two-fifths of the total or 8 percent by count may be seriously damaged by scars or disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, or other similar defects.

References: Purdue University, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center, University of Arizona College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, USDA.

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