Enzyme vs. Bacteria-Based Products: How Do They Compare?

  • Resources
  • Enzyme vs. Bacteria-Based Products: How Do They Compare?

Natural enzymatic solutions are on the cutting edge of replacing chemicals in everything from commercial food production to industrial and institutional applications. At Envera, our focus on microbial selection never wavers. That includes screening for enzyme production and a deep understanding of source.

Natural Products Don’t Have to Sacrifice Potency 

Microorganisms, like bacteria, exist almost everywhere in the environment, from deep ocean vents to the top of Mount Everest. Their survival in challenging locations is dependent upon unique adaptions, which we can harness to create natural solutions across a variety of industries. In some cases, the unique adaptation may be the ability to produce a specific enzyme. You’ll find products for sale that are enzyme-based or bacteria-based. Which is better? What should you look for in product selection and development? 

Bacteria Make Enzymes 

Bacteria make enzymes. The enzymes then break down organic material, which the bacteria consume to reproduce and continue the cycle. Think of bacteria as a two-for-one product because bacteria already produce enzymes.  
However, natural products frequently only include enzymes. While enzymes are vital, they don’t do their best work alone. By their nature, enzymes leave behind smaller particles because they don’t absorb them like bacteria. Again, the enzyme’s role is to break down organic material for the bacteria to eat and reproduce.

Enzymes Alone Aren’t as Shelf-Stable

Without bacteria, the product isn’t as shelf-stable or effective because enzymes can’t make other enzymes—they’re only a byproduct of bacteria. When an enzyme-only product sits too long, the enzymes start to degrade, and the product becomes less potent. Enzyme-only manufacturing lines also start to degrade the product immediately because of inefficient filtration. We combine situation-specific bacteria with a preservative, so products are even more shelf-stable.  

Bacteria Are Flexible 

Bacteria secrete different kinds of enzymes suited to what needs to be broken down. Depending on the purpose, we help the process along and include multiple strains of bacteria in products to increase its potential to break down different materials or accomplish different tasks. Bacteria will move toward organic material while enzymes don’t, which speeds up the process. Bacteria are also much hardier across a wide range of temperatures, pH, salt concentrations, and organic solvents.  


We need both bacteria and enzymes, which is what nature intended. Enzyme-only products are limited by their innate characteristics, even if they do perform an important function in the life cycle of bacteria. Bacteria-based products are much more effective, reliable, and long-lasting.  

Bacteria Enzymes
Consumes organic matter Leaves behind particles because it can’t consume them
Works on different waste types Works on one waste type
Reproduces x
Creates enzymes x
Works continuously x
Hardy & stable in different conditions x
Moves towards organic material x

Microorganisms for Your Every Goal and Problem 

We have 5,000+ bacteria, one of the world’s biggest collections. Our production capabilities are large enough to quickly ramp up production but agile enough for smaller runs. Our clients are our partners, so we offer services beyond the raw materials and production, including Product Analysis & Development, Education & Training, and Regulatory Support. Contact us when you’re ready to explore our capabilities.