Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array and fluorescence detection was applied to the systematic screening of chlorophylls and derivative pigments. The chromatographic procedure proposed made it possible to successfully separate and identify eight chlorophyll derivatives (the a and b forms of chlorophyll, chlorophyllide, pheophytin and pheophorbide) by using a linear gradient of methanol, acetone and ammonium acetate. The method has been routinely applied to study chlorophyll degradation during the postharvest storage of cherimoya (Annona cherimola, Mill.) fruits. The brilliant green colour even at maturity, and its high chlorophyllase and Mg-dechelating activities, indicate that this plant material might be suitable for investigating the as yet not well known chlorophyll breakdown processes.