Understanding Enzymes – Part 2

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Bacteria vs Enzymes

I know that virtually no tech is particularly interested in scientific technical jargon about chemistry so I always try to dumb down that boring stuff to a bare bones simple explanation of how things work. Besides, I know that after 40 years in the industry most guys automatically switch off as soon as they sniff a hint of scientific mumbo jumbo but today I received a call from an ACCI tech who felt that further clarification of how enzymes worked was needed so the following info should help anyone who may be at all confused or even remotely interested.

So let’s make this as simple as possible by explaining the differences between bacteria and enzymes since we have previously used the term bio- enzymatic formula and 7 strains of non – engineered, naturally occurring bacteria etc. in Omegazyme. So what’s going on?

To understand how enzyme producing cleaning agents such as Omegazyme work you need to understand that there are two parts to the equation. Enzymes on their own don’t do the job they need a bacterial source to even exist. So here’s a quick look at bacteria and then enzymes.

Bacteria

Bacteria are living cells which have the capabilities of consuming wastes (e.g. stains and carpet/upholstery soils ) of different types, reproducing, and actually producing enzymes. In fact it’s the enzymes that give the bacteria their grunt so to speak.

Therefore bacteria are the factories that produce enzymes. When the right bacteria are present in the right quantities and in the right conditions you will get a consumption, eradication, break down, call it what you will, of the waste material, stains on carpets and fabrics etc. This is all possible because of the added assistance given by enzymes.

Enzymes

Enzymes are NOT alive. They are complex chemicals produced by bacteria. They cannot reproduce, or actually consume waste. They speed up chemical reactions without getting used themselves. However, enzymes are all proteins, and some enzymes attack proteins. Therefore, enzyme usefulness is limited by digestion from other enzymes. Therefore formulators of an enzymatic cleaning agent need to be highly selective of what components they use otherwise it could be useless as the enzymes attack each other.

So when we combine that info together this is what happens. It’s the bacteria that consumes staining materials with the direct assistance of the enzymes produced by the bacteria. A bit like saying hydrogen peroxide on its own doesn’t necessarily knock over a stain but when you add ammonia it accelerates the hydrogen peroxide making a huge improvement in stain removal performance. So in simple terms when the Omegazyme bacteria consumes the stain, they can convert the waste into safe by products – such as carbon dioxide and water. At the same time when the waste materials or stains are very complex, Omegazyme bacteria actually produce enzymes to break down the complex stains and waste into simple compounds that the Omegazyme bacteria can consume. Dinner time for the bacteria. Ding dong the stain is dead.

Chemical sensitivity of bacteria.

When we speak about enzymes being chemically sensitive what we actually mean is that the bacteria that produces the enzymes is chemically sensitive. Therefore without the bacteria ‘factory’ producing the enzymes the whole process comes to a halt. No factory, no enzymes. For example hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria by oxidizing their cell walls, stealing electrons from them and disrupting their chemical structures. No bacteria, no enzymes it’s that simple. The same applies to other spotting or cleaning agents. They all have the potential to disrupt the whole process so to be on the safe side stick to letting the bacteria and enzymes do their thang.

So there you go I hope that clarifies any confusion or misunderstanding about the synergistic relationship between bacteria and enzymes.