Technical Book Organic
Cleaning Products – all the answers to the questions:
Background to Green cleaning.
Many so-called “green” products are not really “green” or safe. What proof do you have? The market is full of companies offering bogus “green” certifications because it is politically correct and the trend. The US Environmental Protection Agency is the only agency that can assure consumers that a product is truly “green,” eco-friendly, and poses no threat to humans, pets, plant life, marine life and the environment. We are partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Designed for the Environment program. Many of our formulas and ingredients have already been reviewed by the EPA and third-party accreditation contractors to meet their goals for safety in addition to earning the highest level of “green” confirmation from the US EPA’s – DfE Seal of Approval.
What is the EPA’s Designed for the Environment’s Seal of Approval Program?
The DfE is a program started by the EPA to reduce risk to people and the environment by preventing pollution. This is how it works. Review teams screen the ingredients in products (cleaners are one of many different categories) to make sure that they pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.
According to, Information Resources Inc (IRI), of Chicago, IL, sales of “green” cleaning products have exploded, with a 66% increase in the US in 2007. Today, both consumers and retailers are driving the market toward more sustainable solutions. Consumers are more environmentally aware, and mass market chains such as Wal-Mart are pushing for a reduction in harmful ingredients in cleaning products on the market.
As consumers demand more eco-friendly products, governments are reviewing environmental standards and are working toward greener regulations. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is working on an update of the environmental marketing guidelines known as Green Guides. The EPA, which closely monitors the effects of surfactants on aquatic life, is pushing for new detergent ingredients that lower the environmental impact of washing. Furthermore, the EPA introduced a new Designed for the Environment certification program assuring the contents of the products are actually considered green and environmentally safe. In Europe, the EU has introduced stricter chemical regulations (REACH) that will have consequences for all chemical imports and exports to Europe.
The current “Green Wave” is hampered, however, by fluctuations in raw material prices. These fluctuations are putting pressure on detergent manufacturers to closely examine and stabilize their cost base and subsequently rethink their detergent formulations.
Ernie Rosenberg, president of the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), stressed in an interview with the Chemical & Engineering News the necessity for innovation in the detergent industry and discussed the need for companies to reformulate their products with evident sustainable benefits in order to succeed.
Benefits of enzymes.
A Cost-effective Alternative
A new enzyme-based technology takes enzymes beyond cleaning boosters, allowing ingredient replacement or a reduction of surfactants, builders or other chemicals, without compromising performance. By utilizing multiple enzymes, we can develop customized solutions to counter the current market challenges the consumer faces. The optimized formulations make it possible to:
- Replace costly and toxic surfactants used in traditional cleaners
- Eliminate builders, such as phosphates.
- Replace other harmful substances with all-natural ingredients.
The Benefits of Adding a Multi-enzyme Solution:
- A more sustainable cleaner. enzymes are readily biodegradable.
- Support for the “compaction” trend. Low volumes of enzymes are required to replace high-volume ingredients such as surfactants and builders.
- Improved performance. The synergistic effect of combining several enzymes results in improved stain removal and overall cleaning beyond what single enzymes and traditional surfactants can achieve.
- Energy-efficient product. enzymes work well even at low temperatures, allowing wash temperature reductions and thereby energy savings.
enzyme cleaners are naturally occurring elements so they are “Planet-Safe.”
What does “Planet-Safe” mean?
Multi-enzymatic products are super-effective, but they’re also “planet-safe”, meaning they won’t negatively affect the environment. Natural occurring enzymes actually digest fats, oils, greases and many other soils, and convert them into hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, which dissipate into the air. So rest assured that while you’re making things cleaner, safer, and brighter in your home, you’re doing the same for your planet.
Liter for Liter enzyme, cleaners are …
- Less expensive to manufacture
- Cost less to ship
- Reduce the expenses associated with cleaning up polluted landfills.
These amazing, environmentally friendly products are not only more powerful than traditional toxic cleaning products, but are more effective, do not pollute the environment, and are economical to use.
And even more importantly, enzyme products are safe around children, pets, plant life, and marine life. They truly are … “Planet-Safe!”
Facing a challenging financial climate, an elevated concern on how to protect the environment, and the ever increasing preference by consumers and businesses to use “green” products, detergent formulators and their distributors must adapt to their customer’s needs by offering eco-friendly products that are high in performance, yet safe for people and the planet. All natural, multi-enzymatic household and institutional cleaners provide the safety benefits that our customers, our children, our communities, and our planet deserve.
The “3 – T’s” of Cleaning Protocol
Time – Temperature – Turbulence
Chemicals lift dirt and debris from surfaces quickly. They do not dissolve or destroy bacteria but instead spread an almost invisible layer of micro-thin layer of debris that leaves a surface looking and smelling clean.
enzyme products are 100% effective at biodegrading and emulsifying proteins. Proteins of concern are contaminants that include mold, bacteria, viruses and insects. enzymes effectively clean away dirt and grime by breaking their components apart and biodegrading them into carbon and oxygen (C and O2). It takes only minutes for this biological process to occur.
Like any chemical reaction, it becomes intensified with higher temperatures. Molecules become more excited with higher temperatures and the enzyme chemical activity is intensified by very warm (not boiling) temperatures. While not always possible, increasing temperatures of enzyme products by mixing the concentrates with very warm water will serve to speed up the cleaning process and maximize results.
The addition of turbulence or “friction” helps accentuate the natural characteristics of enzymes along with increased temperature of the solution will maximize the cleaning process. Minor scrubbing and/or rubbing provide deep cleaning action.
While assisting in increasing a preferred increase in surface temperature from friction activity, this action helps to break up surface contaminants into small pieces thereby allowing the enzymes to attack the contaminants from all sides.
NOTE: Chemicals claiming to “clean” without turbulence may actually “melt”, burn, or corrode the contaminant as a result of its caustic characteristic. A simple warm water rinses with a clean damp sponge or cleaning cloth and a secondary wipe with a clean and dry (preferably micro-fiber cloth) will produce a microbial clean surface.
Sickness is often attributable to careless cleaning and many other careless short-cuts that are intended to quicken the vitally important process of cleaning.
Chemical cleaning vs enzyme Cleaning
The most significant aspect of “enzyme Wizard Cleaning” versus harsh toxic chemical cleaning is with both the product and the process. Chemical cleaning will lift dirt and debris from a surface quickly but will NOT dissolve or thoroughly destroy the bacteria or contaminant. They do not necessarily create a hygienically clean surface. Chemicals dilute and spread an almost invisible layer of debris [a micro-thin layer] that leaves a surface that looks clean and may “smell” clean but is only a masking chemical tactic in disguise.
How Chemicals Work?
Chemicals work by simply burning, melting, or corroding a substance. Just because a chemical has harmed a substance in this way does not mean it has been completely destroyed.
How enzymes work?
enzymes activate and energize “good” bacteria that consume bad bacteria and/or contaminants at the microbial level. They eat protein and organic matter by feeding and turning the contaminants into water, salts, and CO2 (carbon dioxide). enzymes cut the bonds (tubes) that attach atoms together that make up molecules. If the tubes that attach the atoms are cut, the molecule will no longer exist in its initial state.
Whenever there is a concern with Bacteria residue from poultry, beef, fish or vegetables, chemical cleaners, especially disinfectants do not perform as advertised. All chemical claims are made from inside a controlled laboratory environment – not in the “real world” where it really counts.
Real world situations are significantly different than an incubator inside a laboratory where most validation tests are performed. Our environmental conditions can change in an instant – while the testing laboratory maintains controlled for weeks, which typically does not reflect the reality for day-to-day applications.
enzyme products are 100% effective at biodegrading and emulsifying proteins. Examples of proteins that we need to be concerned about include mold, bacteria, viruses and insects. All these contaminants are made up of proteins. enzymes do a superior job at breaking their components apart and biodegrading them into carbon and water (C and O2). It takes only minutes for this biological process to occur.
When used correctly for the appropriate application, our family of products is just as effective in dealing with cleaning and sanitizing challenges from floods and natural disasters to standard day to day industrial and commercial cleaning activities.
Optimizing the capabilities of enzyme products for lighter cleaning demands would suggest a wait time of several minutes of product surface contact while a wait time of 5 to 10 minute for heavy and demanding cleaning would be best to allow the enzyme energy to zap and biodegrade nasty bacteria and surface contamination.
Sickness is often attributable to careless cleaning, food processing, field-crop harvesting conditions and many other careless short cuts that are intended to quicken the cleaning process.
We have all been brought up believing that chemical cleaners are necessary and complete. Historically, this was true however bacteria and viruses have developed immune resistance to common household cleaners (disinfectants & sanitizers). Read the CAUTION labels; chemical cleaners are harmful to our respiratory systems. Energy enzymes are food grade and do not harm surfaces or the people using it. It is not a food, but considered food grade meaning that it is safe to clean areas where foods are processed or positioned.
Simply spray, wait a few minutes and then rinse with a clean damp sponge or preferably a microfiber cleaning cloth, for a hygienically clean surface that is safe, healthy and the correct choice in today’s high bacteria environments!
Chemistry of an enzyme.
The general nature of an enzyme is one as a biological catalyst. enzymes catalyze chemical reactions. They are highly efficient, which can increase reaction, rates by 100 million to 10 billion times faster than any normal chemical reaction. As a catalyst they can change, transform, and break up oils, fats, sugars, and even fragment a molecular structure.Another role of enzymes is to eliminate organic waste and consequent odors. They are ideally used for odor control, stain removal and cleaning action. Compared to some of the caustic and potentially harmful chemicals currently used, enzymes are safe to use and safe for the environment. Living organisms produce enzymes, but they are not alive. Microbes (or bacteria) on the other hand are living organisms that can digest the organic matter but they require longer periods of time because they have to adapt to the surrounding environment before they start to work. In some situations, microbes and enzymes are used together for treatment of waste; the enzymes for the immediate action and the microbes for the longer term.
An enzyme is made up of a chain of amino acids, and it’s the changes to the sequence in the structure that dictates the function of the enzyme. enzymes remove odors by causing a biological or chemical reaction. When an enzyme binds to a substrate, it causes a change in the molecular structure of the substrate by breaking it down into smaller molecules. enzyme blend consists of Protease, Lipase and Amylase. These enzymes are commonly used in cleaning products because they are the catalysts behind removing and changing the physical and chemical properties in most related stains and odors. enzyme blends alsoworks very well in the sewer systems, as it does not harm the natural bacteria that exist in the pipes. enzyme blends have been applied successfully throughout several city sewers that are generally located in areas with a high number of restaurants to maintain flow and
Proteases act on protein-based soils such as blood, foods, urine, feces, wines and beverages.
Amylases break down starch-based soils such as sugars, sauces and ice cream.
Lipases are effective in breaking down fats and oils based soils.
Bacteria or enzymes?
1. What are Bacteria.
Bacteria are single-celled organisms that do not have well-defined organelles such as a nucleus. The cells are typically enclosed in a rigid cell wall and a plasma membrane. Bacteria contain all of the genetic material necessary to reproduce, and they reproduce by simple cellular division. Bacteria show a wide range of nutrient requirements and energy-related metabolism. Some bacteria require only minerals and a carbon source such as sugar for growth, while others require more complex growth media. Bacteria play an extremely important role in recycling nutrients in the environment. Bacteria break down organic matter into simple compounds like carbon dioxide and water, and they cycle important nutrients such as nitrogen, sulphur, and phosphorus. Bacteria can migrate to areas that are rich in specific nutrients that they require for growth. Bacteria can also attach themselves to surfaces and form communities known as biofilms.
2. What are enzymes…
An enzyme is a protein that acts as a catalyst. The enzyme is responsible for accelerating the rate of a reaction in which various substrates are converted to products through the formation of an enzyme-substrate complex. In general, each type of enzyme catalyses only one type of reaction and will operate on only one type of substrate. This is often referred to as a “lock and key” mechanism. As a consequence, enzymes are highly specific and are able to discriminate between slightly different substrate molecules. In addition, enzymes exhibit optimal catalytic activity over a narrow range of temperature, ionic strength and ph.
BIOFILM – What you need to Know
Biofilm is a collection of bacteria encased in extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), more commonly known as slime. This slime forms on surfaces and builds up over time, allowing pathogens to flourish and leading to contamination.
Many industrial companies struggle with biofilm. Build-up and subsequent contamination can occur on any type of surface, often including food production machinery; membrane filters, and pipes, to give just a few examples.
The slime is a problematic and unpredictable source of contamination that is very hard, if not impossible, to remove with traditional cleaning chemicals.
Although various methods are used to attempt to control biofilm, they are not without limitations. Aggressive chemicals such as caustic soda and bleach are often used, but they do not provide very good performance and, at the same time, corrode materials and machinery, endanger users, and negatively impact the environment.
Fortunately, a more efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly option is available – enzymes.
An immense problem
“The market for biofilm removal solutions is large; many industries are confronted with microbial contaminations related to biofilm. Wherever hygiene is considered important, there is a potential application.”
Cleaning in place (CIP) is a term denoting cleaning equipment such as pipes, tubes, and other processing equipment on the spot between production runs. CIP does not involve mechanical cleaning action, only reliance on the power of the cleaner. In this particular application, enzymatic cleaning is the only way to get complete biofilm removal.
“Biofilm can develop anywhere, but it’s most often found in locations that are tough to clean “For example, biofilm often thrives in membrane filtration units and heat exchangers in the food industry, where CIP is used.”
Works on tough cases
Biofilms have very strong chemical resistance, making them a very tough cleaning challenge. Multi enzyme solutions have been developed and tested to be effective against more than 60 different biofilms found in food processing plants, including the seven most difficult-to-remove biofilms, which do not respond to traditional cleaning.
Finding the right combination of Multi enzyme formula and detergent ingredients and thenunderstanding how to integrate them into an efficient cleaning is the key.
A two-step, Multi enzyme method
Using an easy two-step cleaning procedure comprising a Multi enzyme mix based on enzymes followed by a biocide step is an efficient way to rid surfaces of biofilm.
The enzymes act specifically on the EPS that forms the structure of the biofilm, degrading it and allowing the detergent to remove the biofilm. This enables the subsequent disinfectant step to reach all the way down to the exposed bacteria and kill them.
A complementary solution
“Some companies are afraid that switching to this enzymatic solution will mean that they need to completely change their cleaning regimen, but this is absolutely not the case. Actually, the solution is complementary to a company’s current cleaning procedure; it only needs to be used periodically to keep the biofilm under control.”
“Biofilm is notoriously difficult to deal “ enzymes are the Solution”.
Understanding of Biofilm and sanitization
In the diagram above, bacteria are adhered to the surface and covered with food soils and other organic material (Biofilm). The sanitizer is unable to penetrate the soil because it lacks penetrating or wetting properties thus it reacts with the soil forming other compounds, which may not be bactericidal. Thus, the efficacy of the sanitizer is lost by the time it reaches the microbes.
As is indicated in the diagram above, in simple terms the bacteria clings to the surface, the tendency then is for the food and all organic material forms a layer over the bacteria thereby trapping the bacteria below the biofilm. As stated above the efficacy of the sanitizer is reduced, because it now has to penetrate the organic matter (Biofilm) before it gets to the bacteria to kill or remove it
Ideal cleaning Process to improve sanitization efficacy:
- Step 1: Clean surface with enzyme solution.
- Step 2: Wash down surface with plain water
- Step 3: Wipe down surface with sanitizer.
Temperature and enzymes:
Description of temperature and enzymes:
As the temperature increases, so does the rate of reaction. But very high temperatures denature enzymes.
The graph shows the typical change in an enzyme’s activity with increasing temperature. The enzyme activity gradually increases with temperature up to around 37ºC, or body temperature. Then, as the temperature continues to rise, the rate of reaction falls rapidly as heat energy denatures the enzyme.
What can be concluded from the above is that enzymes work best between 35 degrees and 45 degrees Celsius, and as the temperature increases the from 45 degrees to 65 degrees Celsius the enzymes still work but are not as efficient as at 25 degrees Celsius.
Information on Surfactants
Surfactants form an integral part of cleaning products, they give the product its unique characteristic, depending on the specific application and result that is needed from the cleaning product. One gets different types of surfactants, e.g. Non-Ionic, Cationic etc. etc.
Function: ‘Soften’ the water so it can wet the fibers and surfaces, loosens and encapsulates the dirt and prevents re-deposition of dirt on the surfaces.
Surfactants are a large group of surface-active substances with a great number of (cleaning) applications. Most surfactants have degreasing or wash active abilities. They reduce the surface tension of the water so it can wet the fibers and surfaces, they loosen and encapsulate the dirt and in that way ensure that the soiling will not re-deposit on the surfaces.
Surfactants have a hydrophobic (water repellent) part and a hydrophilic (‘water loving’) part. The hydrophobic part consists of an uncharged carbohydrate group that can be straight, branched, cyclic or aromatic.
Dependent on the nature of the hydrophilic part the surfactants are classified as an-ionic, non-ionic, cat-ionic or amphoteric.
When the hydrophilic part of the surfactant consists of a negatively charged group like a sulphonate, sulphate or carboxylate the surfactant is called anionic. Basic soaps are anionic surfactants. Over the last 50 years many soaps have been replaced with more efficient substances like alkyl sulphates, alkyl sulphonates and alkyl benzene sulphonates.
Anionic surfactants are sensitive to water hardness.
A surfactant with a non-charged hydrophilic part, e.g. ethoxylate, is non-ionic. These substances are well suited for cleaning purposes and are not sensitive to water hardness.
They have a wide application within cleaning detergents and include groups like fatty alcohol polyglycosides, alcohol ethoxylates etc.
For this category the hydrophilic part is positively charged – e.g. with a quaternary ammonium ion. This group has no wash activity effect, but fastens to the surfaces where they might provide softening, antistatic, soil repellent, anti bacterial or corrosion inhibitory effects.
The most typical applications are for softeners and antistatic.
For the amphoteric surfactants the charge of the hydrophilic part is controlled by the pH of the solution. This means that they can act as anionic surfactant in an alkalic solution or as cationic surfactant in an acidic solution.
Important Information of Bio degradability:
The majority of substances used in cleaning are readily biodegradable, meaning that they will degrade rapidly in wastewater treatment plants or in the environment.
When chemical substances reach the receiving water- ‘the aquatic environment’- before complete biodegradation the potential effect becomes important.The chemical properties of the most often used detergent substances are described in the section ‘functional groups’, which also includes examples of substances that are generally phased out and the reason why.
Biological degradation – Environmental
The properties regarding biological degradability of a substance is of paramount importance determining the fate in the biological treatment plants used for treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater in most places in the world.
If substances degrade readily in wastewater treatment plants, they will rarely have serious environmental effects. Sometimes though, the degradation products might have environmental effects different from the original substance.
Slowly degradable substances might possess a risk, as they tend to accumulate in the environment. The consequences may be understood only to a limited extent. Hence, it can be taken as a general recommendation to avoid use of organic synthesized substances that are slowly bio-degradable.
For surfactants the primary degradation is of importance. Primary degradation means that the substance looses its original structure and properties—e.g. its surface activity. This means that the potentially negative effects in the treatment plants and in the water environment are reduced significantly. In a wider environmental perspective the complete degradation naturally is of importance.
Eco toxicity – Environmental
The aquatic ecotoxicity of a substance can be measured by many different methods. Basically some aquatic organisms are exposed to the substance in a number of concentrations over a period of time. For example, one is done with fish, exposing the fish to the substance over 96 hours and determining an LC50-value – the concentration where 50% of the fish dies (LC=lethal concentration).
Alternatively one can determine sub-lethal effects. An example might be testing for immobility of Daphnias (small crustaceans), where the concentration that destroys mobility of 50% of the organisms can be determined in a similar way.
The ecotoxicity testing methods are mainly suited for determining the effects on organisms in the aquatic environment. A lot of the testing of chemicals is based on such methods even though the majority of water borne chemicals is discharged via wastewater treatment plants. As it can be understood from the above description of bio-degradability, passing through a treatment plant will change the properties of a mixture of substances quite significantly. However, the eco-toxicity testing is relevant to determine the ‘inherent properties’ of the substances and as such it plays an important role in the classification of chemicals.
Bioaccumulation – Environmental
The ability of a substance to bio-accumulate – to be captured and accumulated – in a living organism like a fish is determined by the ‘bio-concentration-factor’ (BCF) of the substance. This factor determines the ratio between the concentrations of the substance in the organism and the concentration in the surrounding environment – typically water.
The BCF is influenced by the size of the molecule and the ability to dissolve in fat. Substances with high solubility in fatty substances and small molecule size will have high tendency to bio-accumulate. Such substances might accumulate to a level where the toxic properties of the substances might be serious for the organism.
A commonly used method to assess the tendency of the substance to bio-accumulate, is to study the distribution of the substance between the phases in an octanol / water system. This distribution is expressed by the ‘octanol water distribution coefficient’ Pow which is the ratio between the concentrations in the two phases.
Organic substances with Pow-values over 1000 are normally considered as potentially bio-accumulating. This value is often expressed by the 10-log of the Pow – that is logPow.
In addition, the substance’s solubility in water is often used as an indicator, such that high solubility will mean low tendency to bio-accumulate. Solubility in water of more than 2000 ppm is considered to indicate that no risk of bioaccumulation exists.
This information outlined in this document is a compilation of all information available in the public domain and researched over a number of years. None of the information is proprietary to the author, and the author makes no claims to the information outlined in the document.
The general nature of an enzyme is one as a biological catalyst. Enzymes catalyze chemical reactions. They are highly efficient, which can increase reaction rates by 100 million to 10 billion times faster than any normal chemical reaction. As a catalyst they can change, transform, and break up oils, fats, sugars, and even fragment a molecular structure.
Another role of enzymes is to eliminate organic waste and consequent odours. They are ideally used for odour control, stain removal and cleaning action. Compared to some of the caustic and potentially harmful chemicals currently used, enzymes are safe to use and safe for the environment.enzymes are produced by living organisms, but they are not alive. Microbes (or bacteria) on the other hand are living organisms that can digest the organic matter but they require longer periods of time because they have to adapt to the surrounding environment before they start to work. In some situations, microbes and enzymes are used together for treatment of waste; the enzymes for the immediate action and the microbes for the longer term.
An enzyme is made up of a chain of amino acids, and it’s the changes to the sequence in the structure that dictates the function of the enzyme. enzymes remove odours by causing a biological or chemical reaction. When an enzyme binds to a substrate, it causes a change in the molecular structure of the substrate by breaking it down into smaller molecules.
Nzyme NZs’ enzyme blend consists of Protease, Lipase and Amylase. These enzymes are commonly used in cleaning products because they are the catalysts behind removing and changing the physical and chemical properties in most related stains and odours. EW’s enzyme blend also works very well in the sewer systems, as it does not harm the natural bacteria that exist in the pipes. EW’senzyme blend has been applied successfully throughout several city sewers that are generally located in areas with a high number of restaurants to maintain flow and prevent clogs. The enzymes actually break down the grease and fat instead of just liquifying them as most surfactants do. As a result of this breakdown and change of chemical structure, they will not solidify further downstream.
Proteases act on protein-based soils such as blood, foods, urine, feces, wines and beverages.
Amylases break down starch-based soils such as sugars, sauces and ice cream.
Lipases are effective in breaking down fats and oils based soils.