Approximately 63 strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus were isolated from Egyptian home-made cheese and examined for production of antagonism. Only eight strains demonstrated inhibitory activity against spoilage microorganisms (i.e. Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus) and pathogens (i.e. E. coli, Salmonella sp. and Shigella sp.). Lactobacillus acidophilus AA11 produced higher antimicrobial activity with a wide range of inhibition. The agent AA11 was sensitive to proteolytic enzymes and retained full activity after 30 min at 100 degrees C. Activity against sensitive cells was bactericidal but not bacteriolytic. The compound was produced during growth phase and could be extracted from the culture supernatant fluids with n-butanol. 12% SDS-PAGE analysis of 40% ammonium sulphate precipitated agent showed two peptides with molecular weights of approximately 36 kDa and approximately 29 kDa. No plasmid was identified in Lactobacillus acidophilus AA11 indicating that the genes encoding the inhibitory agent were located on the chromosome. These characteristics identify the inhibitory substance as a bacteriocin, designated acidocin AA11 and confer the agent an application potential as a biopreservative.