The primary aim of a hydrolyzed protein diet is to disrupt the proteins within the diet sufficiently to remove existing allergens. Published assessment of hydrolyzed protein diets includes physiochemical and immunologic assays as well as nutritional and clinical feeding trials. Potential problems include poor palatability, hypoosmotic diarrhea, and a reduced nutritional value, although persistent allergenicity is the most significant. The primary indications for a hydrolyzed protein diet are use in elimination trials for the diagnosis of adverse food reactions, and the initial management of inflammatory bowel disease. Initial studies of hydrolyzed diet efficacy are encouraging. Consideration of the source ingredients should be given when using hydrolyzed protein diets in elimination feeding trials because antigenic sites may not be fully destroyed.