Fruits of 'Akca', an early ripening European pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivar, were exposed to 38 degrees C for 24 h, 48 h and 72 h immediately after harvest, and subsequently they were stored at 0 +/- 1 degrees C and 85-90 % RH conditions for one month. During two harvesting seasons, after removing from the storage, they were placed at ambient conditions for determination of the shelf life. Fruit quality analysis, such as free sugars and organic acids, flesh firmness, fruit skin colour, weight loss, fruit taste, and flesh browning were performed at fifteen-day-intervals during the cold storage and at the end of the shelf life after the cold storage. All quality parameters with the exception of flesh browning and weight loss decreased during the storage and the shelf life period. Heat treatments did not affect sugar. composition of the fruits. However, fruits heated for 48 h and 72 h had higher organic acid content, and no flesh browning at the end of the shelf life in contrast to controls and heated fruits for 24 h. In addition, the shelf life period of these fruits were prolonged at least five fold. Loss of flesh firmness was retarded especially in 72 h heated fruits.