The effect of freeze-drying on viability and probiotic properties of a microbial mixture containing selected bacterial and yeast strains isolated from kefir grains (Lactobacillus kefir, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactococcus lactis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces marxianus) was studied. The microorganisms were selected according to their potentially probiotic properties in vitro already reported. Two types of formulations were performed, a microbial mixture (MM) suspended in milk and a milk product fermented with MM (FMM). To test the effect of storage on viability of microorganisms, MM and FMM were freeze-dried and maintained at 4°C for six months. After 180 days of storage at 4°C, freeze-dried MM showed better survival rates for each strain than freeze-dried FMM. The addition of sugars (trehalose or sucrose) did not improve the survival rates of any of the microorganisms after freeze-drying. Freeze-drying did not affect the capacity of MM to inhibit growth of Shigella sonnei in vitro, since the co-incubation of this pathogen with freeze-dried MM produced a decrease of 2 log in Shigella viability. The safety of freeze-dried MM was tested in mice and non-translocation of microorganisms to liver or spleen was observed in BALB/c mice feed ad libitum during 7 or 20 days. To our knowledge, this is the first report about the effect of freeze-drying on viability, in vitro probiotic properties and microbial translocation of a mixture containing different strains of both bacteria and yeasts isolated from kefir.