Kefir is a fermented milk obtained by the activity of kefir grains which are composed of lactic and acetic acid bacteria, and yeasts. Many beneficial health effects have been associated with kefir consumption such as stimulation of the immune system and inhibition of pathogenic microorganisms. The biological activity of kefir may be attributed to the presence of a complex microbiota as well as the microbial metabolites that are released during fermentation. The aim of this work was to characterise the non-microbial fraction of kefir and to study its antagonism against Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Bacillus cereus. During milk fermentation there was a production of organic acids, mainly lactic and acetic acid, with a consequent decrease in pH and lactose content. The non-microbial fraction of kefir added to nutrient broth at concentrations above 75% v/v induced a complete inhibition of pathogenic growth that could be ascribed to the presence of un-dissociated lactic acid. In vitro assays using an intestinal epithelial cell model indicated that pre-incubation of cells with the non-microbial fraction of kefir did not modify the association/invasion of Salmonella whereas pre-incubation of Salmonella with this fraction under conditions that did not affect their viability significantly decreased the pathogen's ability to invade epithelial cells. Lactate exerted a protective effect against Salmonella in a mouse model, demonstrating the relevance of metabolites present in the non-microbial fraction of kefir produced during milk fermentation.