`Anna' and `Granny Smith' apples (Malus domestics Borkh.) that were held at 38C for 4 days before storage at 0C not only were firmer than controls upon removal from storage, but also softened more slowly during shelf life at 17C. Skin yellowing and loss of acidity attendant upon the heat treatment were not prevented by dipping fruit in 2% CaCl2 before heating. Both heat-treated and control fruit softened at the same rate upon exposure to ethylene at 100 μl·liter-1 upon removal from storage. The insoluble pectin content of cortical tissues was higher in heat-treated fruit than in controls after 10 days at 17C, while soluble pectin levels were lower. Arabinose and xylose levels were lower in cell walls from heat-treated cortical tissue, but the treatment had no effect on loss of galactose residues during shelf life.