Lipase activity was recorded in gastric contents collected from healthy term and preterm neonates. In contrast to pancreatic lipase activity this lipase activity was higher at pH 5.5 than at pH 8.0 and it was more resistent to acid inactivation. Lipase activity was found in gastric contents from all infants who were regularly fed, but was not present in gastric contents from some infants when collected before regular feeding was established. During test meals lipase activity in gastric contents increased considerably in all infants studied. During such a test meal there was a progressive relative decrease in triglycerides whilst diglycerides showed a relative increase suggesting an active lipolytic process in the stomach. An assay procedure for determination of lipase activity in gastric contents is also described.