A cross-over trial of pancreatic replacement therapy was carried out in 12 adults with chronic pancreatic insufficiency. The standard enteric-coated preparation, Pancrex V forte, was compared with Nutrizym, which has an enteric-coated core of pancreatic extract and a shell of bromelains-a mixture of proteolytic enzymes derived from the stem of the pineapple.Nutrizym was significantly more effective than Pancrex V forte in improving fat absorption, and reduced faecal weight. Protein digestion was assessed by measuring the urinary excretion of hydroxyproline after a gelatin meal. Nutrizym produced an earlier and significantly higher peak in hydroxyproline excretion than Pancrex V forte, but the cumulative effect was similar. The value of bromelains was investigated by including a period on the Nutrizym core alone. This was similar to Pancrex V forte in improving fat absorption but had less effect on protein digestion, suggesting that the beneficial effect of Nutrizym compared with Pancrex V forte was due to the added bromelains, and not to differences in enzyme content or enteric coating.