Turkish White-brined cheese was manufactured using Lactococcus strains ( Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis NCDO763 plus L. lactis ssp. cremoris SK11 and L. lactis ssp. lactis UC317 plus L. lactis ssp. cremoris HP) or without a starter culture, and ripened for 90 d. It was found that the use of starters significantly influenced the physical, chemical, biochemical, and sensory properties of the cheeses. Chemical composition, pH, and sensory properties of cheeses made with starter were not affected by the different starter bacteria. The levels of soluble nitrogen fractions and urea-PAGE of the pH 4.6-insoluble fractions were found to be significantly different at various stages of ripening. Urea-PAGE patterns of the pH 4.6-insoluble fractions of the cheeses showed that considerable degradation of alpha(s1)-casein occurred and that beta-casein was more resistant to hydrolysis. The use of a starter culture significantly influenced the levels of 12% trichloroacetic acid-soluble nitrogen, 5% phosphotungstic acid-soluble nitrogen, free amino acids, total free fatty acids, and the peptide profiles ( reverse phase-HPLC) of 70% (vol/vol) ethanol-soluble and insoluble fractions of the pH 4.6-soluble fraction of the cheeses. The levels of peptides in the cheeses increased during the ripening period. Principal component and hierarchical cluster analyses of electrophoretic and chromatographic results indicated that the cheeses were significantly different in terms of their peptide profiles and they were grouped based on the use and type of starter and stage of ripening. Levels of free amino acid in the cheeses differed; Leu, Glu, Phe, Lys, and Val were the most abundant amino acids. Nitrogen fractions, total free amino acids, total free fatty acids, and the levels of peptides resolved by reverse phase-HPLC increased during ripening. No significant differences were found between the sensory properties of cheeses made using a starter, but the cheese made without starter received lower scores than the cheeses made using a starter. It was found that the cheese made with strains NCDO763 plus SK11 had the best quality during ripening. It was concluded that the use of different starter bacteria caused significant differences in the quality of the cheese, and that each starter culture contributed to proteolysis to a different degree.