We devised a positive selection procedure for bacterial mutants incapable of producing acid from sugars by fermentation. The method relied on the production of elemental bromine from a mixture of bromide and bromate under acidic conditions. When wild-type Escherichia coli cells were plated on media containing a fermentable sugar and an equimolar mixture of bromide and bromate, most of the cells were killed but a variety of mutants unable to produce acid from the sugar survived. Among these mutants were those defective in (i) sugar uptake, (ii) the glycolytic pathway, and (iii) the excretion. There were also novel mutants with some presumed regulatory defects affecting fermentation.