I've been interested in the use of enzymes for gardening. There have been so many new enzyme products come out this year it's hard to keep up with them all. My major beef with just buying one is the price (expensive!). My interest was sparked by their ability to break down dead roots which could be very useful to all of us who keep their mother plants bonzai'd and also reusing soil without having to remove dead roots. As I have been researching, it appears that enzymes are also use for digestive aids for humans. Healthy gardening and health food go hand in hand.
Here's some various info I've compiled and hopefully others can join in and share their experiences and knowledge. -
While all raw foods contain enzymes, the most powerful enzyme-rich food is sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. Sprouting increases the enzyme content in these foods enormously. Barley is supposed to have the highest enzyme content because it has a super hard high protein seed coating. Enzymes are produced to help break away the seed coating as the seed germinates.
Barley & Barley malt -
Malted barley dried at a sufficiently low temperature contains enzymes such as amylase and protease which convert starch into sugar. Therefore, sugars can be extracted from the barley's own starches simply by soaking the grain in water at a controlled temperature; this is mashing.
The historical preference for two-row barley is based on the fact that two-row barley yields malts with 1-2% greater theoretical extract, meaning that brewers can brew more beer.
My local gardening store is really cool and we're always cracking open bottles and smelling them and trying to figure out how they are made. They cracked open a bottle of hygrozyme and I immediately though barley or beer when I smelled it (minus alcohol and hop smell). This is what I think hygrozyme is close to or could possibly be->
Diastatic Malt Extract
One syrup which is commonly used in the mash, however, is diastatic malt extract or DME. DME is prepared by fully converting base malt, then draining the resulting mash, still including amylases, and evaporating it down to a high density. DME is used exclusively in homebrewing as a substitute for base malt. It typically has a diastatic power of around 100 °Lintner.
I'm wondering if they are the same thing or close enough. I wonder what the lowest ppm DME out there is? Any beer brewers out there?
This is a list of human digestive enzymes which should be very similar if not exactly the same enzymes plants use. Some are animal derived but I'm trying to focus on plant derived sources.
Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down food into usable material. The major different types of digestive enzymes are:
• amylase – breaks down carbohydrates, starches, and sugars which are prevalent in potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and many snack foods
• lactase – breaks down lactose (milk sugars)
• diastase – digests vegetable starch
• sucrase – digests complex sugars and starches
• maltase – digests disaccharides to monosaccharides (malt sugars)
• invertase – breaks down sucrose (table sugar)
• glucoamylase – breaks down starch to glucose
• alpha-glactosidase – facilitates digestion of beans, legumes, seeds,
roots, soy products, and underground stems
• protease – breaks down proteins found in meats, nuts, eggs, and cheese
• pepsin – breaks down proteins into peptides
• peptidase – breaks down small peptide proteins to amino acids
• trypsin – derived from animal pancreas, breaks down proteins
• alpha – chymotrypsin, an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down proteins
• bromelain – derived from pineapple, breaks down a broad spectrum of
proteins, has anti-inflammatory properties, effective over very wide pH
• papain – derived from raw papaya, broad range of substrates and pH,
works well breaking down small and large proteins
• lipase – breaks down fats found in most dairy products, nuts, oils, and meat
• cellulase – breaks down cellulose, plant fiber; not found in humans
• other stuff
• betaine HCL – increases the hydrochloric acid content of the upper
digestive system; activates the protein digesting enzyme pepsin in the
stomach (does not influence plant- or fungal-derived enzymes)
• CereCalase™ – a unique cellulase complex from National Enzyme
Company that maximizes fiber and cereal digestion and absorption of
essential minerals; an exclusive blend of synergistic phytase,
hemicellulase, and beta-glucanase
• endoprotease – cleaves peptide bonds from the interior of peptide chains
• exoprotease – cleaves off amino acids from the ends of peptide chains
• extract of ox bile – an animal-derived enzyme, stimulates the intestine to
• fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – helps support the growth of friendly
intestinal microbes, also inhibits the growth of harmful species
• L-glutamic acid – activates the protein digesting enzyme pepsin in the
• lysozyme – an animal-derived enzyme, and a component of every lung
cell; lysozyme is very important in the control of infections, attacks
invading bacterial and viruses
• papayotin – from papaya
• pancreatin – an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down protein and fats
• pancrelipase – an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down protein, fats, and
• pectinase – breaks down the pectin in fruit
• phytase – digests phytic acid, allows minerals such as calcium, zinc,
copper, manganese, etc. to be more available by the body, but does not
break down any food proteins
• xylanase – breaks down xylan sugars, works well with grains such as corn
Herbs and health foods that contain enzymes:
(*instructions already in OFC thread to make enzyme extract)
Hopefully we can all come up with a bomb enzyme DIY solution.