Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education
University of California
Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education

What's More Delicate than an Egg?

 A fig. A yellow fig. A most delicious 'Kadota' fig.  A piece of fruit that falls apart easily and shows every nick, scrape and bump.


And it doesn't take much to reduce a fig to something that is not very attractive to a consumer.

damaged fig

There have been all manner of packing materials that have been devised for shipping fresh figs. Nestled in individual packing hollows they can be shipped to arrive in pretty good condition.

figfig pack spain



'Bursa Black" which is a 1/4 pound fig grown in the Bursa region of Turkey is shipped to large cities in Europe and because of careful fruit selection and packaging, arrives in excellent shape at the delivery point

bursa black fig

fresh fig turkey Bursa variety

Some of these shipping containers pack for individual display, making it easy for the seller to keep from damaging the fruit when removed from the container.

fresh fig clamshell

fresh fig pack turkey

The ultimate shipping container that has been developed for delicate fruit is a "suspended tray" container which floats the fruit to its destination.  It's somewhat pricey, so the value of the fruit will determine its value to the shipper.  A description of the tray using pears and avocados follows:




                                  J. F. Thompson, D. C. Slaughter, M. L. Arpaia

Bartlett pears and Hass avocados are subject to transport vibration damage and their susceptibility to damage
increases as the fruit soften during ripening. Firm fruit,greater than 50 SIQ units (13‐lb penetrometer firmness) for
pears and greater than 65 SIQ units (3.0‐lb penetrometer firmness) for avocados, could be shipped in a wide variety of
conventional packages with little transit vibration damage.However softer fruit sustains significant transit vibration
damage when packed in conventional packaging systems and subjected to severe in‐transit vibration conditions common to cross‐country transit in the United States. This study demonstrated that softer fruit was protected from transit vibration damage when packed in a suspended tray packaging system. The study showed that even eating‐ripefruit could be shipped in the suspended tray system with transit vibration damage not significantly greater than nonvibrated control fruit.

suspended tray pack diagram

suspended tray packin cardboard

But hey, an egg carton may work just about as well.


Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 4:37 PM
Tags: apricot (1), clam shell (1), delicate fruit (1), display (1), fig (5), packaging (1), peach (3), ripe (1), soft fruit (1), transport (1), tray (1)


Careful handling by field pickers and keeping them cool is important also. The trays need to be stacked gently in the field and in the truck.

Posted by Maxwell V. Norton on November 5, 2017 at 4:44 PM

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