The effects of sodium bicarbonate (SBC), potassium sorbate (K-sor) and two yeast biocontrol agents were tested for suppression of postharvest decay of sweet cherries. SBC at 2% reduced decay incidence after storage for 30 days at 0 degreesC and 4 days shelf life eightfold compared with untreated controls. K-sor, however, was less effective than SBC in reducing decay under all storage conditions tested. Between the two yeast antagonists, Candida sp. was superior in its ability to reduce decay than that of Candida oleophila. C. oleophila failed to provide any protection of the fruit kept under various storage conditions. Modified atmosphere (MA) packaging combined with cold storage markedly enhanced the control activity of SBC and Candida sp. treatments. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.