This study was undertaken to find optimum conditions of tryptone, yeast extract, glucose, Tween 80, and incubation temperature for the growth of Lactobacillus casei YIT 9018 and to assess the effects of these factors by use of response surface methodology. A central composite design was used as an experimental design for allocation of treatment combinations. A second-order polynomial regression model, which was used at first for analysis of the experiment, had a significant lack of fit. Therefore, cubic and quartic terms were incorporated into the regression model through variable selection procedures. Effects involving incubation temperature, yeast extract, glucose, and tryptone were significant, whereas the only significant effect involving Tween 80 was the interaction effect between temperature and Tween 80. It turned out that growth of L. casei YIT 9018 was most strongly affected by the incubation temperature. Estimated optimum conditions of the factors for growth of L. casei YIT 9018 are as follows: tryptone, 3.04%; yeast extract, 0.892%; glucose, 1.58%; Tween 80, 0%; incubation temperature, 35 degrees C.