Fig Bulk Packs - General Information
There are three types of processed figs offered in bulk. Blue Ribbon™ brand figs have a moisture content of 26-30%. White Ribbon™ brand figs have a moisture content of 21-24%. While no claim is made that White Ribbon brand figs are “natural” or “organic”, this low moisture fruit is generally sold to health food outlets. Blue Ribbon Organic Figs are certified by the State of California and the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) organization; Valley Fig Growers is certified as an Organic Processor of figs.
“Surfacing” of natural sugars occurs more rapidly at lower moisture levels and appears as surface sugar crystals. No liability for prevention of this natural phenomenon is assumed by Valley Fig Growers. The appearance of “sugaring” does not indicate spoilage; it merely alters the product’s appearance. All moisture determinations are made by the DFA moisture meter.
Dried Figs in their natural condition are a remarkably stable food; however, when the moisture content is raised to enhance their palatability, they become more susceptible to mold and yeast action. To preserve high moisture processed figs, potassium sorbate is added. This preservative, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is widely used in the food industry.
When added to foodstuffs, potassium sorbate releases sorbic acid, its preserving component. Sorbic acid is a polyunsatu-rated fatty acid very similar to other such acids which occur naturally in edible fats and oils. Sorbic acid is completely metabolized in the body, and therefore may be considered a food. It is effective as a mold inhibitor and does not affect the flavor or taste of the treated food. The amount of sorbic acid required to obtain a preserving action is nominal; as a rule, 500 ppm or 0.05% (by weight) is sufficient.
Sulfur dioxide may be used on Calimyrna, Kadota and Adriatic varieties to retain color. These varieties may be available without sulfur dioxide on special order.
- 40°- 55°F., 55% RH
- maximum 70°F., 55% RH