Substrata’s family of products use proprietary compounds powered by natural enzymes.

But just what are these enzymes? Where do they come from? Let’s review the basics.


Enzymes are naturally-occurring protein molecules produced in all living organisms. These molecules are responsible for virtually every chemical reaction that occurs in plant and animal life, and they play a crucial part in the organism’s ability to function.

For example, enzymes produced in human bodies are used to facilitate processes such as digestion, nutrient absorption, and energy production. Without enzymes, none of these vital processes could occur. The same holds true for your plants, as we’ll discuss below.


The enzyme’s job is to accelerate (or “catalyze”) chemical reactions among other molecules in an organism or environmental ecosystem. The enzymes themselves aren’t changed by these reactions; they merely speed up the process or, in some cases, allow the reaction to take place in different conditions than what is normally possible (such as reactions at lower temperatures).

While some of these reactions may occur naturally, supplementary enzymes greatly accelerate the rates of these chemical and physical reactions.

Because of their importance, enzymes play a large role in the health of natural ecosystems, such as the soils we use for agriculture. For plants to survive and thrive, there must be an appropriate balance of enzymes dispersed throughout the soil matter. And depending on the soil’s composition, adding new enzymes may substantially improve soil quality and plant health.


Enzymes can be produced naturally in an organism’s cells, or they can be produced artificially and added to an ecosystem. In terms of soil health, the necessary enzymes are produced in several ways:

  • Living and dead microorganisms
  • Decomposition of plant residues
  • Soil animals (such as insects or worms)

Of course, enzymes can also be added to soil through supplementary products, such as Perma-Zyme. And when specific soil conditions are needed to facilitate high crop yields or better soil health, these supplementary enzymes can be powerful indeed.


Enzymes primarily influence soil health (and, by association, plant health) by increasing the speed of the naturally-occurring chemical reactions in the soil. Depending on the type of enzymes applied, this can produce numerous benefits:

  • Accelerating the breakdown of organic matter
  • Increasing the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients (nutrient cycling)
  • Stabilizing soil components, such as pH or Nitrogen levels

Naturally, the levels of these enzymes are dependent on the soil ecosystem itself:

  • Soil composition (levels of clay vs. organic matter)
  • External temperature
  • Presence of contaminants

These variables can produce significant variance in soil enzyme production across ecosystems.

For example, overuse of pesticides may degrade the soil and inhibit natural enzyme production, leading to a growing environment built on contaminated soils and inadequate plant nutrition. This is where enzyme-based supplements come into play.

By assessing the health of your soil ecosystem and strategically applying enzymes into the mix, you can stabilize the soil’s components and support a stronger environment for growing. These enzymes can also protect plants by extending the range of optimum growing conditions; for example, using enzymes to allow nutrient cycling to occur uninterrupted during colder seasons.


Another important function of enzymes is cleaning and odor control. When applied under the proper conditions, enzymes act as powerful solvents for a variety of surfaces.


As we noted above, microorganisms such as bacteria are one of the biggest sources of naturally-occurring enzymes. When applied to contaminated surfaces, these bacteria release enzymes that catalyze other compounds (such as odor-causing grease and grime inside your garbage disposal).

The catalyzing process breaks down these substances into smaller molecules that can be reabsorbed by the initial bacteria. These bacteria can then be removed to produce a surface that’s fresh, free of contaminants, and odor-free.

Alternatively, these enzymes can be applied without their source bacteria (through cleaning products such as Bacto-Zyme) to clean and degrease surfaces. Although they’re harvested from bacteria, they don’t need bacteria to function–creating a simple and natural cleaning system that’s easy on surfaces and easy on the environment.

Overall, enzymes can be considered the “drivers” of the chemical reactions that power all plant life—and balance is key above all else. If your soil ecosystem is lacking in this necessary balance, a course of supplementary enzymes may be the answer you’re looking for.

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