In this study, 2 different starter culture combinations were prepared for cheesemaking. Starter culture combinations were formed from 8 strains of lactic acid bacteria. They were identified as Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis (2 strains), Lactobacillus plantarum (5 strains), and Lactobacillus paraplantarum (1 strain) by amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis. The effects of these combinations on the physicochemical and microbiological properties of Beyaz cheeses were investigated. These cheeses were compared with Beyaz cheeses that were produced with a commercial starter culture containing Lc. lactis ssp. lactis and Lc. lactis ssp. cremoris as control. All cheeses were ripened in brine at 4 degrees C for 90 d. Dry matter, fat in dry matter, titratable acidity, pH, salt in dry matter, total N, water-soluble N, and ripening index were determined. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE patterns of cheeses showed that alpha(S)-casein and beta-casein degraded slightly during the ripening period. Lactic acid bacteria, total mesophilic aerobic bacteria, yeast, molds, and coliforms were also counted. All analyses were repeated twice during d 7, 30, 60, and 90. The starter culture combinations were found to be significantly different from the control group in pH, salt content, and lactobacilli, lactococci, and total mesophilic aerobic bacteria counts, whereas the cheeses were similar in fat, dry matter content, and coliform, yeast, and mold counts. The sensory analysis of cheeses indicated that textural properties of control cheeses presented somewhat lower scores than those of the test groups. The panelists preferred the tastes of treatment cheeses, whereas cheeses with starter culture combinations and control cheeses had similar scores for appearance and flavor. These results indicated that both starter culture combinations are suitable for Beyaz cheese production.