Freeze-dried, alginate-based beads, used for the immobilization of a denitrifying bacterium (Pseudomonas sp.), were filled with different concentrations (10%, 20%, 30% and 40%, w/w) of granular starch. The beads were incubated under denitrifying conditions in laboratory-scale, flow- through columns and monitored for changes in their physical and denitrifying properties. Freeze-dried beads containing high concentrations of starch were found to have better mechanical and denitrifying properties than beads containing low concentrations of this filler. Nitrate removal by the beads was found to be correlated with their starch content. Nitrite accumulation, as a result of incomplete denitrification, increased with the decrease in starch content of the beads. Nitrite in the outlet of the columns was measured in all types of beads during the initial phase of incubation but was undetectable, with the exception of beads with the lowest starch content, at later stages of incubation.