ABSTRACT: Thermal and calcium pretreatments applied to preserve the sweet cherry texture by the freezing/thawing process produced biochemical changes in the pectic substances and ultrastructural alterations to the cells and tissues, which were visible under scanning electron microscopy. Partial dehydration of the epidermic tissue caused by calcium (100 mM CaCl2) and thermal (50 °C/10 min) pretreatment attenuated the surface damage produced by freezing. However, pretreatment at 70 °C/2 min caused partial destruction of the epidermic tissue and plasmolysis of the parenchymatic cells. After freezing, the cell walls in the parenchymatic tissue of the fruits pretreated with 100 mM CaCl2 exhibited swelling as a result of gelling of the cell-wall pectic material. Thermal pretreatments increased the ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-soluble pectin fraction and reduced the degree of pectin esterification. Thermal treatments at 70 °C, without immersion in calcium, reduced the water- and pectinase-soluble pectin fractions, whereas immersion in calcium prevented depolymerization of these fractions. Immersion in 100 mM CaCl2 increased the water-soluble pectin fraction.