In order to use sugarcane bagasse as a substrate for lactic acid production, optimum conditions for acid hydrolysis of the bagasse were investigated. After lignin extraction, the conditions were varied in terms of hydrochloric (HCl) or sulfuric (H(2)SO(4)) concentration (0.5-5%, v/v), reaction time (1-5h) and incubation temperature (90-120 degrees C). The maximum catalytic efficiency (E) was 10.85 under the conditions of 0.5% of HCl at 100 degrees C for 5h, which the main components (in gl(-1)) in the hydrolysate were glucose, 1.50; xylose, 22.59; arabinose, 1.29; acetic acid, 0.15 and furfural, 1.19. To increase yield of lactic acid production from the hydrolysate by Lactococcus lactis IO-1, the hydrolysate was detoxified through amberlite and supplemented with 7 g l(-1) of xylose and 7 g l(-1) of yeast extract. The main products (in gl(-1)) of the fermentation were lactic acid, 10.85; acetic acid, 7.87; formic acid, 6.04 and ethanol, 5.24.