A model study on a new, enantioconvergent method for the synthesis of chiral, nonracemic alpha-amino acids is presented. alpha-Acetoxyamides obtained in a Passerini multicomponent reaction are selectively hydrolyzed by Wheat Germ lipase. Studies on conversion of the thus obtained, enantiomerically enriched alpha-hydroxyamides into alpha-aminoamides are presented. Products of these reactions are then hydrolyzed to give alpha-amino acids. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.