Enzymatic reactions taking place in minimally processed vegetables are considered as a major problem, because they adversely affect sensorial and nutritional quality. Polyphenol oxidase (FPO), peroxidase (POD) and lipoxygenase (LOX) from lettuce were purified on a column packed with positively charged diethylaminoethyl (DEAE) cellulose by applying pH gradient elution from pH=4.0 to 9.0. The main purified fractions (PPO1 and PPO4, POD1 and POD2, LOX1 and LOX2) were characterized for enzyme concentration-reaction rate relationship, thermal stability, pH activity and kinetic parameters. Kinetic properties of each isoform were considerably different. Cysteine was found as the most effective inhibitor of both fractions of FPO. Kinetic parameters of lettuce POD were presented using guaiacol at various H(2)O(2) concentrations. beta-carotene directly influences lettuce LOX in the reaction medium available for the catalytic conversion of linoleic acid into hydroperoxides. Ascorbic and oxalic acids appear as effective PPO inhibitors, protecting phenolic compounds against oxidation in lettuce. Understanding the characteristics of deteriorative enzymes becomes important to maintain suitable conditions for fresh-like quality of lettuce. The results can be useful to keep the nutritional quality of minimally processed lettuce during shelf-life.