The effects of postharvest applications of hot water (HWT) (45, 50, and 55 degrees C), 1-MCP (1, 5, and 10 mu L L-1), and CaCl2 (1, 2, and 3%) on polygalacturonase (PG), pectin methylesterase (PME), alpha-galactosidase (alpha-Gal), beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal) and beta-1,4-glucanase (beta-1,4-Glu) activities, and the fruit firmness and cell wall composition of eggplant fruit were investigated. The results showed that the decrease in the eggplants firmness was delayed by HWT, 1-MCP, and CaCl2 treatments during storage compared with the control. However, HWTs were less effective than the 1-MCP and CaCl2 treatments. The results show that 1-MCP and CaCl2 treatments inhibited the depolymerization of water (WSP), CDTA (CSP), and sodium carbonate (SSP) soluble polyuronides. The results suggest that 1-MCP (5 and 10 mu L L-1) and CaCl2 (1, 2, and 3%) could prevent eggplant softening by inhibiting hydrolase enzymes and reducing the disintegration of the polysaccharides. In addition, 1-MCP and CaCl2 were more effective than hot water treatment in extending postharvest storage life. There is a significantly high correlation between firmness, polyuronide content and cell wall enzyme activity.