Proto-cooperation between Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus is one of the key factors that determine the fermentation process and final quality of yoghurt. In this study, the interaction between different proteolytic strains of S. thermophilus and L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricuswas investigated in terms of microbial growth, acidification and changes in the biochemical composition of milk during set-yoghurt fermentation. A complementary metabolomics approach was applied for global characterization of volatile and non-volatile polar metabolite profiles of yoghurt associated with proteolytic activity of the individual strains in the starter cultures. The results demonstrated that only non-proteolytic S. thermophilus (Prt-) strain performed proto-cooperation with L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus. The proto-cooperation resulted in significant higher populations of the two species, faster milk acidification, significant abundance of aroma volatiles and non-volatile metabolites desirable for a good organoleptic quality of yoghurt. Headspace SPME-GC/MS and 1H NMR resulted in the identification of 35 volatiles and 43 non-volatile polar metabolites, respectively. Furthermore, multivariate statistical analysis allows discriminating set-yoghurts fermented by different types of starter cultures according to their metabolite profiles. Our finding underlines that selection of suitable strain combinations in yoghurt starters is important for achieving the best technological performance regarding the quality of product.