This study demonstrated the influence of protein on biohydrogen production from carbohydrates, especially starch, by using different combinations of two model food wastes, rice as starch-rich and soybean residue as protein-rich food waste. It was found the maximum specific hydrogen production potential, 0.99 mol H2/mol initial starch as glucose, and the maximum specific hydrogen production rate, 530 ml H2/h g-VS, occurred at a starch/protein ratio of 1.7. The protein content in the initial food waste not only provided buffering capacity to neutralize the volatile fatty acids as concurrent products but also enhanced the hydrogen production by providing readily available organic nitrogen such as soluble proteins and amino acids to microorganisms.