2-aminoacrylic acid (dehydroalanine) derivatives are potentially important compounds in monitoring the degree of damage to wool fibres. The presence of a double bond in simple derivatives, or in a dehydropeptide, leads to the observation of a characteristic, kinetically controlled, two-electron, two-proton reduction process in acidic media at mercury electrodes. The analytical sensitivity depends on the proximity of the hydrogen ion reduction process. Overlap with the hydrogen ion reduction process necessitates the implementation of background corrected differential pulse polarographic techniques to elucidate the electrochemical characteristics of the reduction process for simple 2-aminoacrylic acid derivatives. Controlled potential electrolysis at the foot of the wave and product evaluation (mass spectrometry, UV spectrophotometry, etc.) show no evidence of dimerization of the reduction product in highly acidic media as has been postulated previously.