Starter cultures (Lactobacillus plantarum and Staphylococcus xylosus) were encapsulated by emulsion method using alginate-starch mixture to increase the live cell number when they used in the heat treated (at similar to 70 degrees C for 20 min) and in fermented sucuks. Effects of encapsulated bacteria on microbial and physicochemical properties of heat treated sucuk were investigated. Freeze dried micro particles were characterized in terms of survival rate surface morphology and release profile. The highest survival rate was observed for L. plantarum and S. xylosus at 2% and 0.5% concentrations, respectively. Release test was completed for 14 days with the release rates of 70.21% and 70.34% for S. xylosus and L. plantarum, respectively. The starter cultures were protected by encapsulation against the harsh conditions during fermentation and heat treatment with lower reduction rates suggesting that the microencapsulation of starter cultures is a robust option for the use in the production of heat treated meat products. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.