The degradation kinetics of L-glutamine (Gln) in aqueous solution was studied as a function of buffer concentration, pH and temperature. Stability tests were performed using a stability-indicating high-performance liquid chromatographic assay. The degradation product of Gln was 5-pyrrolidone-2-carboxylic acid. The reaction order for Gln in aqueous solution followed pseudo-first-order kinetics under all experimental conditions. The maximum stability of Gln was observed in the pH range from 5.0 to 7. 5. The pH-rate profile described by specific acid-base catalysis and hydrolysis by water molecules agreed with the experimental results. Arrhenius plots showed the temperature dependence of Gln degradation, and the apparent activation energy at pH 6.41 was determined to be 9.87 x 10(4) J mol(-1).