Commercially grown Granny Smith apples were stored at 0°C in air or 1% O2, and 2 sets of samples were taken every 4 weeks over a 28 week period. One set was immediately analysed for weight loss, firmness, color, soluble solids, pH and titratable acidity. Alcohol-insoluble substances were analysed for starch, water-soluble uronides, water-insoluble uronides, cellulose and neutral sugars. The second set of samples was kept in air at 20°C for an additional week, during which respiration and ethylene production rates were measured, prior to the above analyses. Storage in 1% O2 led to the improved maintenance of firmness, reduced respiration and ethylene production rates in ambient air, and a reduced content of water-soluble uronides, suggesting a reduced degree of hydrolysis. The correlation between firmness and water-soluble uronide content was not very strong. The predominant neutral sugars present in the wall were arabinose and galactose, and activities of putative hydrolyses that may be involved in the metabolism of polymers containing these sugars will be discussed.