Confectionary effluents are typical examples of strong wastes of biodegradable nature, quite suitable for respirometric analysis. Three different confectionary effluents have been subjected to a treatablity-oriented characterization, mainly by means of respirometric methods, yielding meaningful results on COD fractionation and significant kinetic coefficients. Experimental values have been tested by a multi-component mathematical model using the endogenous decay approach and hydrolysis rate constants corresponding to the slowly biodegradable COD fractions have been evaluated using curve fitting. Copyright (C) 1996 IAWQ. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.