Protein hydrolysates as substitutes for serum havebeen employed by many in cell culture mediumformulation, especially with the shift to low proteinor protein-free media. More recently, vegetablehydrolysates have also been added as nutritionalsupplements to fortify the amino acid content in smallpeptide form for batch and fed-batch fermentations. Several of these new hydrolysates (peptones of soy,rice, wheat gluten etc.) were tested as protein-freemedium supplements for the production of a recombinanttherapeutic protein. Multiple peptone-supplemented,continuous perfusion bioreactor experiments wereconducted, varying dilution rates and basal mediumcomposition over the various runs. Cell specificrates and product quality studies were obtained forthe various peptones and compared with peptone-freemedium. The potential for peptones to decreaseintrinsic and proteolytic degradation of the productwas also investigated.It was found that peptones confer a nutritionalbenefit, especially at low dilution rates, for therecombinant BHK cell line used in this investigation.The specific productivity increased 20–30% comparedto the peptone-free controls. However, this benefitwas also fully delivered by using fortified medium inplace of the peptone-enriched media. Therefore, whilepeptones may be considered as useful medium additiveswhen development time is limited, their addition maybe avoided by systematic medium development ifpermitted by the time line of the project.