The purpose of this study was to evaluate the evolution of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts during the fermentation of tarhana produced with some pasteurised ingredients and carried out at 30 and 40 degrees C. The chemical parameters were those typical for tarhana production. Coliform bacteria were not detected during fermentation, while LAB and yeasts were in the range 10(7)-10(8) colony forming units (CFU) g(-1). Plate counts showed an optimal development of both fermenting microbial groups and the differences in cell concentrations were not significant (P > 0.05). LAB were isolated during fermentation and grouped on the basis of phenotypic and polymorphic characteristics. LAB isolates were identified by a combined genetic approach consisting of 16S/23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (ITS) and partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing as Pediococcus acidilactici, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus brevis. Hence, the pasteurisation of the vegetable ingredients, excluded wheat flour, enhanced the hygienic conditions of tarhana without influencing the normal evolution of LAB. However, the fermentation at 40 degrees C favoured pediococci, while the production at 30 degrees C was mainly characterised by lactobacilli. Yeasts, identified by the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the 5.8S ITS rRNA gene, were mainly represented by the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae in both productions. Crown Copyright (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.