Research and development projects concerning cheese industry in Argentina are described in this study. Regional strains of lactic acid bacteria were isolated from different ecological pockets and their taxonomic profiles were determined. Proteolytic and acid activity as well as diacetyl production were analyzed. Results obtained depended on the species and strains under consideration. The cell permeabilization using 20 to 40% ethanol improved the acid production by lactic acid bacteria. Freeze-drying was used for culture preservation. The optimal conditions for obtaining the highest survival rate were determined. Best results were obtained by using 0.75 M adonitol as a cryoprotectant. The rehydration conditions to be used depended on the bacterial species. Freeze-dried cultures showed good viability and activity up to 1 year of storage at 4 degrees C.