Background: Under postharvest physiological deterioration cassava root tubers alter the expression of biosynthetic pathways of certain primary and secondary metabolites, as well as the activity of some scavenging enzymes. Therefore, in this study we hypothesized that cassava cultivars differ as to their physiological responses to deterioration and their biochemical profiles can be an indicative of the tolerance or susceptibility to deterioration. Results: The results corroborate the working hypothesis, revealing that high Levels of phenolic acids, scopoletin, carotenoids, proteins, and augmented activities of guaiacol peroxidase and hydrogen peroxide in non-stored cassava roots can be used as potential biomarkers of cassava deterioration. Conclusions: Cassava physiological deterioration depends on cultivar and many compounds are up and downregulated during storage time. Secondary metabolites, enzymes, scopoletin, scavenging reactive oxygen species, and acidic polysaccharides are activated as responses to the physiological stress induced in root tubers.