In this study we explore the potential of using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of trifluoroacetate-protein and peptide complexes for monitoring proteolytic reactions. The idea of treating dry-films of protein hydrolysates with trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) prior to FTIR analysis is based on the unique properties of TFA. By adding a large excess of TFA to protein hydrolysate samples, the possible protonation sites of the proteins and peptides will be saturated. In addition, TFA has a low boiling point when protonated as well as complex-forming abilities. When forming TFA-treated dry-films of protein hydrolysates, the excess TFA will evaporate and the deprotonated acid (CF3COO−) will interact as a counter ion with the positive charges on the sample materials. In the study, spectral changes in TFA-treated dry-films of protein hydrolysates from a pure protein and poultry by-products, were compared to the FTIR fingerprints of untreated dry-films. The results show that time-dependent information related to proteolytic reactions and, consequently, on the characteristics of the protein hydrolysates can be obtained. With additional developments, FTIR on dry-films treated with TFA may be regarded as a potential future tool for the analysis of all types of proteolytic reactions in the laboratory as well as in industry.