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Revised September, 2021.
California ranks first in the nation in fig production, accounting for nearly 98 percent of all figs produced. The California fig industry consists of both fresh fruit and processed fruit (ERS).
In 2017, there were 6,700 bearing acres nationwide producing 31,200 tons of fresh figs. The tonnage produced has remained consistent over the years, while acres bearing has decreased, indicating increased efficiency in the fig production industry (NASS 2017).
Of that amount, 27,300 tons – or 87 percent – were processed (NASS 2017).
The United States is both an exporter and importer of figs. In 2020/2021, U.S. fig exports were valued at more than $10.6 million. In 2020/2021 the total value of both fresh and dried figs imported into the country was nearly $48.5 million (ERS 2021).
Mission figs are used primarily for dried fruit, paste or juice concentrate, while Kadota are used for canning, preserving and fig paste. The Calimyrna fig is processed as dried fruit or paste.
Food products containing figs include fig paste, fig concentrate, fig powder, fig nuggets and diced and sliced figs.
The natural flavor of figs can be preserved in fig jam, preserves and paste, or to make fig concentrate, which replaces sucrose and corn syrup.
Chopped, diced and sliced figs are incorporated into food products and baked goods. A small number of figs are canned.
The dried seeds in figs contain an oil that is 30 percent fatty acids. This edible oil can be used as a lubricant. The natural humectants in figs make them a beneficial ingredient in such health and beauty products as soap, moisturizers, fragrance and candles.
After the fruit harvest, fig leaves are plucked and used for fodder in India. In southern France, fig leaves are used as a source of perfume material; the leaves create a woody-mossy scent.
Economic Research Service (ERS) Export and Import Data, 2020.
Fruit and Nut Education UC Davis, Fruit and Walnut Production
Fruit and Vegetable Prices, ERS, USDA
Foreign Agricultural Service, FAS 2021.
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2017.