Abstract Persimmon ( Diospyros kaki L.) fruit cell walls have been shown to contain a high proportion of xyloglucan. This hemicellulosic polysaccharide appears to play a crucial role in the softening process that accompanies fruit ripening. In the present work, xyloglucan from persimmon fruit cell walls was extracted, purified and chemically characterized from alkali-extracted hemicelluloses. Monosaccharide analysis of purified xyloglucan showed a molar ratio of Glc:Xyl:Gal:Fuc of 10.0:6.0:3.4:1.4. Linkage analysis showed a high proportion of terminal residues, indicating a low degree of polymerization of side-chains.