They're proteins produced by all living organisms that act as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions that would otherwise occur at a much slower rate or not at all.
Enzymes act as catalysts - They take part in and accelerate a chemical reaction, without being consumed themselves in the process. Once the reaction has gone to completion, the enzyme involved is set free, ready to be used again.
In theory, this could go on for ever, but in practice an enzyme has a limited lifetime, and it is therefore necessary to provide a fresh supply.
- Different enzymes digests different materials.
- They also have different tolerances towards heat/cold, pH and the presence of oxygen.
- Enzymes breakdown large particles into smaller pieces.
- The smaller molecules are digested to carbon dioxide and water.
- Enzymes are unique because they do not lose their functionality after having digested one particle but continue to work on the next one.
- This means that one enzyme protein molecule can act on many substrate molecules. Eventually, all the substrate is gone and the enzyme stops working. Also, the enzyme will eventually break down on its own.
Enzymes in Norwex products
The use of enzymes in cleaning products requires the correct organisms for the job.
A knowledge of precisely which enzyme is needed to break down any particular material is what is key.
Many great products can be created once the cleaning job is determined.
Enzyme molecules are far too complex to synthesize by purely chemical means. The only way to make them is to use living organisms.
The problem is that enzymes produced by micro-organisms in the wild are often expressed in tiny amounts and mixed up with many other enzymes and proteins. These micro-organisms can also be very difficult to cultivate under industrial conditions, and they may create undesirable by-products. So, it is best to produce enzymes for each product as needed.
Enzymes are created using dried or frozen micro-organisms.
These produces large amounts of the enzymes when cultivated.
- The organisms are cultivated with nutrients and agar and incubated at the optimal temperature for the organisms to grow.
- In a large tank containing previously sterilized raw materials and water the organisms reproduce and adapt to the environment and nutrients that they will encounter later on.
- LATER they are transferred to a larger tank where temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen are carefully controlled and additional nutrients are added to optimize enzyme production.
Enzymes lead to a Sustainable Environment
- Microorganisms occur in all biological systems.
- They stem from natural sources, and when broken down simply return to nature without posing a threat to the environment.
- All Norwex products are based on natural born microorganisms/enzymes (found everywhere in nature) and consequently harmless to human beings, animals and nature.
- Enzymes products are safer - Enzymes come from biological systems, and when finished they are readily absorbed back into nature – biodegradable and #non-toxic.
- Likewise, the targets of the enzymatic conversion are non-toxic and readily broken down to their basic elements.
- Compared with chemical cleaning, enzymes are more specific, more efficient, and work under milder conditions. Most enzymes function at normal room temperatures with a neutral ph factor, similar to water. By working in neutral conditions, they save energy, provide safer cleaning conditions, and are easier to use.
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