The main purpose of this study was to obtain antimicrobial starter cultures for sourdough processes. For this purpose, 60 sourdough samples were collected from different bakery plants in Usak. The chemical and microbiological properties of these samples were analyzed. Lactic acid bacteria strains having antimicrobial activity were isolated and identified. The metabolic properties (total amount of acids, organic acids and diacetyl produced and the properties of proteolytic and amylolytic enzymes activity) of the selected strains were determined. The strains with best potential as sourdough starters were L. brevis ssp. lindneri 2103, L. viridenscens 241, 242, Pediococcus sp. E5 and L. delbrueckii F5. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.