The influence of oat bran oligosaccharides on carbohydrate utilization and fermentation end-products was studied with reference to three different lactic acid bacteria (LAB: Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactococcus lactis). The main results were that all three LAB utilized oat β-gluco-oligosaccharides, while only L. plantarum utilized xylo-oligosaccharides. The main products of LAB metabolism were lactic acid, acetic acid, formic acid and ethanol. The results indicated that oat β-gluco-oligosaccharides and xylo-oligosaccharides induce LAB to form the end-products of a typical mixed-acid fermentation. The formation of mixed-acid production from xylo-oligosaccharides was mainly due to the starvation of cells. This study indicates that oat bran oligosaccharides affect both qualitatively and quantitatively the fermentation end-products of LAB grown on these substrates. This should be taken into account when selecting strains for new fermented cereal based food products.