Introduction To Effective Microorganisms (EM) by Vinny Pinto


Introduction to Effective Microorganisms (EM)
http://web.archive.org/web/20051215005439/http://www.eminfo.info/moreem1.html#dilutions
Vinny Pinto

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [compost_tea] The use of EM in brewer cleaning.
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2012 06:55:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Tim H <letitgrow69@yahoo.com>
To: compost_tea@yahoogroups.com <compost_tea@yahoogroups.com>

EM or Effective microbes is the work of Dr. Higa From Japan. He runs the Company Terraganix which you can buy EM-1 Which is the mother culture. From there you can brew extensions. The uses of EM are varied and huge.  Vinny Pinto has a many websites and yahoo groups soley for the pourpose exploring the uses of EM. http://web.archive.org/web/20051215005439/http://www.eminfo.info/moreem1.html#dilutions This is his older web site that links you to alot of his work and an explanation on what EM is and how to brew. His other web sites he gets into the ORMUS and more metaphysical properties of EM. EM is a really interesting topic, I just read an article that a organic farm in the fallout area of the nuclear disaster in Japan, that use EM has  ZERO Radiation detected from the fields and its produce. Effective Microbes are incredible for many uses.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [compost_tea] Re: The use of EM in brewer cleaning.
Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2012 00:55:08 -0000
From: Tim Wilson <thegoodjob@hotmail.com>
To: compost_tea@yahoogroups.com

Be aware that there are two competing companies making EM culture in the USA. One which is SCD is supported by Vinny Pinto (last I knew anyway) and the other is EMROUSA http://www.emrousa.com and the official sales branch is TeraGanix http://www.teraganix.com

Although the later is condoned officially by Dr. Higa, I do not believe he has a hand in the running of the company (but I could be mistaken). EM is produced by Eric Lancaster (still, I believe) in Arizona, though many believe, mistakenly that the product comes from Japan. Dr. Higa is not (so far as I know) happy at all about the EM produced by SCD.

Steve Diver, Vinny Pinto and myself pretty much began exploring and using EM around the same time. I have some very old fermentations which I still use internally and I ferment it to give to my dogs.

EM fermentations are probably a good choice for cleaning brewers if you wish to use something stronger than water. Be aware that EM fermentations will stain especially if not rinsed thoroughly immediately.

EM fermentations are very good horticultural/agricultural amendments and are worth checking out. Unfortunately it seems to me that the quality of EM culture has declined in recent years. I can no longer get the EMROUSA product and my recent fermentations have been made with SCD culture. I've noticed that it takes longer for the pH to drop, at least in the batches I've purchased (with the extra PNSB). All EM years ago had at least three species of PNSBs but now you are lucky to have one and must pay extra for two (so far as I know).

I very much enjoyed using EM fermentations in tandem (one before the other) with ACT in my perpetual garden beds which I had going for up to 7 years without disturbing the soil. EM & ACT are like Yin & Yang in a garden. I find EM fermentations great for breaking down dead matter while ACT is more of a nutrient cycler.

For those interested, I encourage exploring fermenting indigenous microorganisms as taught by Gil Carandang in the Philippines. I can't locate his website right now but he may chime in. He has a book on the subject. The other easy practice is to culture your own lacto bacillus.


 
 

  
 

Links to pages on this website: 
  
 

Main page for the EM Info website 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 

 

Introduction to Effective Microorganisms (EM)

This EM Info website is intended to provide a complete introduction to a technology generically known as Effective Microrganisms (aka EM) and it's uses in many fields, including agriculture, waste remediation, odor control, and human and amimal health.  Throughout this website, the simple and generic abridgement "EM"  will be used as an abbreviation to denote the general class of microbial consortia known as Effective Microorganisms (and known as well under many other names.) This is in keeping with the use of this contraction throughout much of the world as a shorthand to indicate Effective Microorganisms and cultures with similar properties and functionality, regardless of the brand names or trade names which may be employed in a region.

Table of Contents 
You will find the following sections in this cluster of pages about Effective Microorganisms, or EM (aka EM1).   This Table of Contents, with links, appears at the top of each of the pages in this EM sub-site. 

Introduction and Background (on main EM page):

Preface 
Mission Statement 
Introduction to EM, also a Brief List of Uses 
Are Effective Microorganisms (EM·1) Patented, Trademarked or Registered? 
More About EM: Debunking a Few EM Myths; a Brief FAQ 
A Bit of Background and History on EM
More About EM:
How I Stumbled upon EM 
The Various Names for EM·1 and Similar and Related Products 
Are EM and EM-like Cultures Produced and Marketed Only by EMRO and its Licensees? 
EM Secondary Products: Ceramics and More 
The EM Culture and Organisms (Flora) 
The Secrets of the Various Dilutions and Ratios (sub-sections listed below...):
  • Are the Dilutions (such as 1:1:100 or 1:1:1,000) as Powerful as Activated EM (at 1:1:20)?
  • How Long Do the Dilutions with Molasses Stay Potent and Viable?
  • Why Does My Activated EM Have an Effective Life of 30 Days, While EM Stock Culture is Claimed to Have a Useful Lifetime (Viability) of 6 Months? 
More Info about EM, Including Origins, Dr. Higa's Observations on EM, etc.
Some Basic Assertions Made About EM By  Dr. Higa and Others 
The Core EM Organisms May Have Arrived on Earth From Outer Space 
A Few Miscellaneous Notes on EM-X and Tropical Plant Resources
Getting Started With EM in the Real World:
Where to Purchase EM 
What to do with Your EM Culture When You Receive It 
Making Activated EM, Formerly Known as EM Extension 
Storing and Using Activated  EM·1 (EM Extension)
EM Bokashi; EM and Antioxidant Activity :Human Uses of EM:EM-X and Related; also: Online EM-related ResourcesUtility Uses of EM and Miscellaneous Articles:
Various Utility Uses of the Antioxidant (aka Reducing or Reductive) Effects of EM 
Details on Uses of EM in Removing Rust, Corrosion and Tarnish (Gunk and Crud) from Metals, a Fun Demonstration with Some Practical Applications!
And Now, Two Sincere and Extremely Serious Scientific-type (sigh!) High-brow Articles for the Science Geeks Among Us (Some Humor)..... 
Using Baby Space Aliens in a Test Tube Filled With Green or Pink Nutrient Slime as a  
Nutrient Amendment in Brewing Batches of Activated EM (humor)

Use of "Fortune Teller Miracle Fish" to Determine Fermentative Brew Status  
of Batches of Activated EM (AEM) Brews (humor) 
 

And, Back to More Mundane Articles....

EM and Its Acidity -- Dangerous for Plastics?

Effects of EM Upon Some Plastics and Rubber, and on Some Fabric Dyes


Short Sections Found on Most Pages:

  Future Sections which may be added over time:
    • Hints on Making Homemade Versions of an EM-X like Antioxidant-rich and Nutrient-rich Probiotic Beverage (currently a sub-section under Human Uses)
    • Methods for Making/Enhancing Ormus Elements or Minerals with EM
    • Methods to Increase Effectiveness of Activated EM (aka EM Extension) for Some Applications
    • Agricultural and Gardening Uses

    • Livestock and Poultry Uses 
       
      Discounted Sources for Ordering EM Products  
      (EM culture, EM-X, EM Ceramics, etc.)  and  
      EM Fermentation Supplies

      If you are in the USA or nearby countries, and you wish to purchase EM products such as EM microbial inoculant culture, EM fermenting supplies, bokashi,  EM-X health beverage, EM Ceramics, EM Salt, or EM Soap, at a discounted price, please check out the two major vendors listed below:

      SCD World 
      SCD World is a marketing outreach of Sustainable Community Development (SCD) in Kansas (in the USA), they also carry several lines of EM fermented antioxidant nutritional supplement beverages, as well as the complete Garden of Life line. 
      Website:  http://www.scdworld.com 
      phone:  913-541-9299 (USA) 
      Discount:  If you wish to earn a 7% discount on all products, please use the discount code VP2004 

      EMRO USA 
      EMRO USA is an EMRO licensee of EMRO Japan, and is located in Phoenix, Arizona. 
      Discount: If you wish to earn a 5% discount on all products, please use the discount code VPEbook 
      Order through James Harrison, who is an EMRO CEMP 
      Website: http://www.emrousa.com 
      Or contact James Harrison, who is an EMRO Certified EM Provider (CEMP), at: 
      James Harrison's phone: 978-356-7440 (SA) 
      e-mail: jharrison@cemp.emrousa.com 
       


       
      Are You an Intermediate or Advanced Brewer of Activated EM (AEM) or EM Brews Intended for Human Use, and Are You Looking for an Encyclopedic and Comprehensive Guide to Brewing Such Secondary EM Products?

      The author of this sie, Vinny Pinto, has authored and published an encyclopedic guide and handbook which may help you in brewing high-quality EM fermented antioxidant secondary products for human, animal, agricultural, waste and industrial use, particularly Activated EM and EM brews for human and animal ingestion. Are you an intermediate or advanced user or technician working with EM, or do you wish to move to the advanced level with ease? This is an e-document in PDF file format containing both basic and advanced information, aimed only at the intermediate and advanced user, and including recipes, ingredients, methods and techniques, for brewing very-high quality batches of EM brews (for human use), Activated EM, aka AEM, EM Extended and EM Secondary Solution, and also hints on making very high quality fermented solid/granular products such as bokashi or EM-fermented grains for animal feed.  Also covers the topic of ormus elements in EM.  Content goes beyond what I have offered on my websites and on the list groups.

      The book is entitled Fermentation with Syntropic Antioxidative Microbes: An Advanced Guide to Brewing EM Fermented Secondary Products -- an E-book and is available in both e-book and printed/bound format. For further information on this book and on other titles available from the same author (the creator of this website), please go to the E-books, Mini-E-books, Quick Tutorials and Newsletters page on Vinny's main website by clicking here. 
       


       
Looking for an E-mail List Group on EM and Health?

EM-health e-mail list group at Yahoo Groups 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EM-health/ 
This e-mail discussion group is devoted to the use of Effective Microorganisms (EM or EM-1) in human and animal health, and related topics such as their use in agriculture to produce food of higher quality, sometimes known as "beyond-organic" or "uber-organic".  There are already a number of EM fermented antioxidant nutritional supplements on the market, with more being developed every day. The list welcomes beginners, "consumer users" and also serious researchers. This list is moderated by Vinny Pinto, a researcher in the fields of EM1 and nutritional antioxidants, and a peak health consultant/coach. Vinny is a scientist and health researcher who has devoted a tremendous amount of time to research on EM and it's uses in health and healing, 
 


Notice and Disclaimer 
(this notice appears on each page on this site)

A few of the uses for EM, aka Effective Microorganisms, which are discused herein may be  contrary to regulatory rules or guidelines in your country, state, province, county or region.  Further, some practices may be frowned upon by qualified health professionals, and some practices could be dangerous to human health, or could be dangerous to animal health (or crop health!)  if performed or processed incorrectly.  This site and these pages are offered for educational and informational purposes only.  If you choose to use EM or any other microbial inoculant products in any way for any application, you must first check with your local and national authorities to determine if your planned use complies with all applicable rules, regulations and requirements.  If you choose to use EM for any purposes involving human ingestion (or placement upon skin, etc.), I recommend that you  first research all relevant information available in the literature and on the web carefully, and review what the regulatory guidelines for your country or region recommend.  Further, if brewing EM products for human or animal consumption, you will also wish to employ common sense and careful techniques.

Any statements and opinions offered in these pages are my opinions only offered in reportorial and informational mode , and do not reflect in any way the views of the originator of Effective Microorganisms,  Dr. Teruo Higa, nor of the EMRO or EMCO organizations (licensees and distributors of many EM products worldwide), nor of any vendors, re-sellers or distributors of EM products or related products.  Please note that I (the author) am not in any way associated with any of the above-named persons or organizations, although I may occasionally perform consulting for some companies, entities and individuals in the EM field.  All opinions and statements remain my own reportage and opinions, and at times my opinions and/or practices may differ widly from those of EMRO Japan, EMCO, EMRO USA, INFRC, APNAN or their distributors or vendors, or any other producers, distributors or vendors of EM products or EM-like products. 



How I Stumbled Upon EM

I was tempted to place this section much earlier on this page, such as perhaps just after the Preface , but then I realized that it would make a lot more sense and be a lot more "in context" if I placed it after the Introduction to EM sections and the concomitant introduction to a few of the terms in the EM world.

I have trained as an electronics engineer, a data analyst, a researcher (statistics and experimental design), a scientist (health, longevity and well-being), as a psychotherapist, and, briefly, as an acupuncturist. I have trained in the latter three fields at the graduate level, and have worked in each of these fields.  Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, I am also a mystic, and have trained in a number of meditative and inner spiritual disciplines over the years; I am also a spiritual healer.  On a slightly related note, I have also trained in several energy healing systems and in various areas loosely categorized under the wonderfully lame term "alternative health". Lastly, I have had a lifelong interest in organic gardening and in sustainable farming, and, more recently, in grass-fed (organic) sustainable methods for raising livestock and poultry. 

I currently reside on a forested mountainside in a remote rural area (the infamous/famous Frederick Watershed or Catoctin Watershed area near Frederick, Maryland; I do plan to add a page paying tribute to this fascinating remote area and it's lore on this website someday....; this area has also been in the nationwide news a lot in the past year), and in my yard I have about 30 chickens (and a few ducks, geese guinea fowl and turkeys), which I keep primarily as pets and for eggs ; I do not eat any of the birds.  Yes, to answer the yet-unasked question: I am in the process of adding a poultry care page about my birds to this website (not much completed, yet...), with some notes on caring for them with sustainable, environmentally-friendly methods, and also notes on keeping out predators such as red fox, stray dogs, bobcats, raccoons and other animals (hint, use an electric fence....)  There, now that I have managed to demonstrate exactly how weird, zig-zag and hop-scotch my background and training have been, I can proceed to tell you how I got unexpectedly snagged by this stuff called EM. 

From Mushrooms to Long-fermentation Sourdough Bread 
Despite my background in the general sciences and especially in the wellness and well-being realms (longevity, aging, nutrition, antioxidants), I have had little training or experience with microbiology (the world from which the EM organisms came...).  I have hunted wild mushrooms, and learned to identify a few good species, and some of those techqniques have involved looking at mushroom spores through a microscope, and I once even tried my hand at growing oyster mushrooms at home from a mail-order spore kit (this was before the vendors had it nailed down to a reliable science!)  I home-brewed wine at home once, and have nurtured many a compost pile for my organic gardens over the years.  Each of these endeavors involves some knowledge (if only rudimentary) of microbes and microbiology, but each a rather minimal one.  Likewise, I have purchased and grown ancient sourdough bread cultures (each consists of a particular yeast and a lactic-acid bacteria in synergistic relationship), and have made my own long-fermentation-time sourdough breads (very nutritious and very different from uncultured wheat breads...) at home, but again, this requires less knowledge of microbes than needed even for serious home-brewing of good beer.

On the other hand, I do have some significant experience with nutritional antioxidant research, and even have maintained, for the past four years, a small laboratory in my home  for making some rudimentary measures of the antioxidant power of various nutritional antioxidants. This may help to explain the eventual fascination I was to develop with the EM organisms....

EM Starts to Surface Briefly but Repeatedly 
Several times during the year 2002, I came across mentions of, or references to, a weird and  near-magical cluster of highly-beneficial organisms from Japan which could condition animal feed, animal waste, compost and agricultural (or garden) soil. Some of the passing references to this stuff did not even mention it by name, but rather simply that fact that it was always cultured on molasses.  Some of my callers and acquaintances, especially those in the organic farming world, referred to this stuff as almost sacred, and viewed it (and its use) as the key to taking farming and agriculture several big steps beyond simple organic standards to a beyond organic ,  uber-organic, or super organic level.  Indeed, some of my callers with backgrounds in organic farming or sustainable agriculture seemed to worship this stuff, and at times made some rather extreme claims about EM, for example: 

  • bioremediation: that it could "eat" or totally digest pesticides, herbicides and other toxins in soils, including dioxin, and even help to ameliorate or reduce radioactive contamination in soil
  • that it could convert cheap, commercially-grown grains into feed for livestock which was far higher in quality than even the best of organically-grown feeds...
  • that using EM alone, with few other changes, could allow a farmer using conventional commercial (chemical/fertilizer) methods to totally abandon use of herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers within two years (see the earlier FAQ and Mythssection above, if this one grabs you!)
  • that it could drastically increase the quality and yield of produce grown on soil treated with EM products
  • that even large commercial poultry and pig farmers who had been usnig EM for a while discovered that their yields increased, and, stranger yet, that loss from illnesses was drastically decreased, and that they could often cease using vaccinations as prophylaxis against illness
  • stranger, some of the mentions were about using these microbes to ferment raw foods or drinks for human consumption, for health reasons.  Apparently these fermented drinks were high in antioxidants, probiotic organisms and other nutrients.
  • there were even a few tales, usually from Japan,  some from Dr. Higa himself, of how EM had been used to reverse cancer, diabetes and other chronic diesases in humans within a short time.
I dutifully filed all these references away in the back of my mind, and did nothing with them at the time!

Then, in the last quarter of 2002, several visitors and callers (primarily consulting clients) asked me if I had any background in microbiology, and particularly, in anaerobic fermenation of microorganisms, or in working with soil organisms on farms.  I did not have any significant microbiology experience to report, other than home-brewing  brewing wine once, nurturing some compost piles for my organic garden while in grad school, and treating some of my livestock for infections with over-the-counter drugs.  And, beyond the chickens and other birds in my backyard and some  organic gardens from my past, I had little experience in farming, although I often go out of my way to purchase organic grass-fed poultry, beef and dairy products from small farms which practice grass-fed organic and sustainable farming methods.  However, as the year 2002 drew to a close, I perked up when I realized how many times these inter-related topics -- farms, microbiology, soil organisms, soil health, anaerobic fermentation -- had surfaced in conversations in my life in just a few months.  In my experience, it has often been the case that if several people ask me or tell me about something within a short time, that may mean that I may need to start paying more attention to that area of life. 

Enter EM 
Finally, in December 2002, it clicked!  Various people with whom I came in contact (often in the alternative health and nutrition worlds) mentioned the EM microbes, and particularly the anaerobic fermentation of agricultural products (molasses, feed grains, wheat bran, farm wastes) or human foodstuffs with  them, just once too often to me for me to ignore the topic any longer!  I broke down and ordered a quart bottle of EM Kyusei stock culture from EMTrading.com, now known as SCDWorld.com, via their online store.  I was not quite sure why I was choosing to experiment with these organisms at this time, since my buget was rather tight,  but I reasoned that this venture was only costing me under 20 dollars dollars, and anyway, I could and would, at the least, brew up some EM boakshi and feed it to my birds.  I rationalized that, at the least, this  should improve their health and mine (since I eat their eggs), increase their happiness, and reduce the odor of their wastes in my yard. In reality, as I look back, I realize that my angels were dragging me, kicking and screaming, into discovering the benefits of using EM in many areas of life.

Once I got my hands on the EM stuff and started playing with it, I found a million uses for it, and even started taking it internally as a probiotic and antioxidant supplement (only after doing my own research on the safety of such a practice), and also using it as a mouthwash (no, I am not recommending these practices...)  The EM products did help my birds in many ways (they love the bokashi stuff in their feed, and will attack me for it...), but I kept finding more and more uses for EM and EM products in my life, and kept continually playing with it, particularly in the realms of human  nutrition (meaning my own...) and trace mineral nutrition. Eventually, as time passed, I became rather enamored with the tremendous antioxidant and nutritive power of the liquid produced by the fermentation of molasses and other food sources by the EM organisms.

Enuf' said... let's move on...

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Commercially-available EM-Fermented Antioxidant Nutritional Supplements for Humans

There are now several EM-fermented antioxidant nutritional suplement products (mostly liquid brews/beverages) available on the market, even in the Western world, and including the USA.  To see a full description of each of which I am aware, including availability, pricing,and where/how to get them, along with links to relevant vendor web pages, click here to go to the Related Fermented Products on the Market page at theAntiox Brew Website, at http://www.antioxbrew.com.

The author of this site is a degreed scientist with extensive training in the fields of health and well-being, a mystic and a healer, and the Antiox Brew website linked above contains a tremendous amount of information on a line of several fermented antioxidant nutritional supplement brews using a microbial culture derived from the Effective Microorganisms culture (aka EM-1 or EM1 or EM) which were direct-marketed on a very small scale at one point during early 2003 to friends and acquaintances under the brand names Sootheox and Quenchox.  To learn more about these custom-crafted nutritional supplement brews and some of their nutritional properties, including results of antioxidant tests from commercial third-party antioxidant testing laboratories (along with  some funny [but true] photos of the ability of such antioxidant supplements to remove rust from rusted iron), please see the Antiox Brew Website, at http://www.antioxbrew.com.


  The Various Names for EM·1 and  
Similar and Related Products 

First, a note of reminder; this note also appears at the top of each page on this website: Throughout this website, the simple and generic abridgement "EM"  is used as an abbreviation to denote the general class of microbial consortia known as Effective Microorganisms (and known as well under many other names.) This is in keeping with the use of this contraction throughout much of the world as a shorthand to indicate Effective Microorganisms and any cultures with similar properties and functionality, regardless of the brand names or trade names which may be employed in a region.

For some reason, likely the number of cultures (human cultures, that is!) and languages through which EM has passed and left it's mark, there are a ton of terms in the EM world which can all really denote just two or three different things... A further factor is that there are, and have been, a number of different producers and distributors of EM culture and similar cultures, and each has often employed their own name, and so, in the EM world,  the naming thing can get confusing at times.  Let's take a look at this...

EM-1 or EM1, now Marketed as EM·1 by EMRO 
First, let us talk about the basic microbial inoculant culture, currently marketed by EMRO and some of its licensess in parts of Asia and all of the Western World as EM·1 (that is a dot between the "EM" and the "1".) There is more than a bit of diversity in the EM world, the farming world, and the gardening world about the various names for EM. Products which exhibit the basic functionality and general composition of the basic EM microbial inoculant culture have been marketed under the folllowing various names and labels (and more..): 

  • EM 
  • EM1
  • EM-1 
  • EM·1
  • EM.1
  • SESO
  • Effective Microorganisms
  • Beneficial Microorganisms, aka BM
  • BM-Technology
  • Benefical and Efficient Microorganisms, aka BEM
  • Beneficial and Effective Microorganisms, aka BEM
  • EM Probiotic
  • Effective Microbes, aka EM
  • EM Kyusei
  • Kyusei
  • Kyusei EM1
  • Vita Biosa
  • Lanox (human-use products only)
  • Compatible Microorganisms, aka CM
  • Molasses Culture (gee, speaking of generic names...!)
As noted earlier, the name most commonly used worldwide by EMRO and some of their licensees since late 2002 for their EM microbial inoculant product has been the (EMRO) trademarked name of  EM·1, often accompanied by their trademarked EM·1logo (consisting of several large green dots forming a semi-circle.)  Hence, if the EM or EM-like microbial inoculant product which you purchase bears the name EM·1, and is accompanied by the trademarked EM·1 logo, you may be quite sure that you are purchasing an EM microbial product which has ben produced by EMRO or one of it's licensees. 
Further, to comply with various government regulatory requirements, especially in the USA, the basic EM·1 name, as employed by EMRO, has been furthter differentiated into several individual label names, such as:
  • EM·1 Microbial Inoculant
  • EM·1 Soil Amendment
  • EM·1 Waste Treatment
  • EM·1 Septic Waste Treatment
and possibly more variant label names as time passes, all to cmply with varous regulatory requirements for product lagels.. Each of these EMRO labels contain exactly the same microbial product, but simply bottled under different labels for various regulatory compliance reaons.  The issue of culture uniformity across labels will be discused in further detail in a section a bit below this one.... And, the issue of different labels with respect to local and national laws, regulations and regulatory compliance is discussed in a much later section named: 

Bottle Labels, Labeling, Uses and Local Regulations and Laws (a big one!) 
plus National, State/Province Regulations and Regulatory Compliance 

Remember - EMRO's Culture Product is Now Known as EM·1 
By late 2002, EMRO offices worldwide officially decided to change the prefix [EM1 or EM2 or EM-1 or EM-1, etc.] prefix for all their microbial inoculant culture products to " EM·1" .  This EM·1 symbol (often used as a prefix to the full product name) has now been trademarked worldwide. The dot in the symbol does not reporduce well in many electronic formats, and so you may sometimes catch me writing "EM1" or "EM-1" instead of EM·1, and worse, the EM·1 name will often show up as "EM 1" or "EM?1" in many e-mail programs and readers, since they cannot properly display the dot.

So, What are EM-2, EM-3 and EM-4? 
At one time, the product was primarily marketed as separate microbial products called EM-2 (mostly the yeasts and related organisms), EM-3 (mostly the phototrophic and related organims) and EM-4 (the lactic acid bacteria).  All three are now rolled up into the single  EM·1 product (with variant label versions) discussed immediately above, meaning that the organisms which were  in EM-2, EM-3 and EM-4 are now all rolled up together in EM·1 (aka EM1 or EM-1 or EM.1 or a dozen other names....)  There are, however, still a number of regions of the world where EM may still be marketed separately as EM-1, EM-2, EM-3, and EM-4. 

What is EM-5? 
EM-5, aka EM5, is a special agricultural brew, consisting of  EM·1 (aka EM-1, etc.) fermented with various specified plant products, such as red chili pepper, and applied to plants as a pest and fungal deterrent.  The exact formula may be found on many EM-related websites, and on some official EM websites.  Typically, a farmer will brew up a liquid fermented EM mix using various herbs, and then apply this mix to plants as a pest deterrent. A related product, also for agricultural use, is often called EM Fermented Plant Extract.

EM Extension, Now Known as Activated EM, aks EM Sceondary Stock Solution 
Activated  EM (AEM), previously known as EM Extension, is the stuff which you will brew once you receive your bottle of EM culture, using a bit of the culture, a bit of molasses, and a lot of water (see below), in order to activate and extend the culture. Please note that the folks in the EM world sometimes refer to Activated EM as "EM Extension", Activated EM.1", “EM Extended”, “EM Extender”, “Extended”, “Extension”, “Extender”, “Activated”,  or “EM Secondary Stock Solution"  It can get confusing!  However, it is all the same thing!  As of early 2003, EMRO worldwide has officially been making a serious effort decided to start calling this product "Activated EM·1".  It was felt that the words "Extension", "Extender" , and "Extended", unfortunately implied only that the EM-1 was to be diluted in water, and ignored the molasses and the important brewing (fermentation) process. 

Wondering About the EM and EM-X Ceramic and Ceramic Powders, EM-X, EMW, etc.? 
Please see the section (probably below) entitled "Other EM·1 (aka EM) Products: Ceramics and More
to learn more!

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Are EM and EM-Like Cultures Produced and Marketed  
Only by EMRO and its Licensees?

When one first ventures into the EM world, it can be esy to assume that all EM and EM-like microbial inoculant cultures are produced and marketed only by EMRO Japan or their two primary licensees, which are INFRC and APNAN (by the way, the EM marketed by EMRO Japan is produced for them by EM Laboratories, aka EM Labo, in Japan.) . However, while these are the sole producers and vendors of EM in the official EMRO world, there appear to be a number of other producers and vendors of EM or EM-like microbial inoculant cultures around the world as well, and we will take a brief look at some of them here. However, this discussion will be confined only to human producers of EM culture and EM-like cultures for human commerce, and will, for the moment, ignore the various natural sources of similar cultures such as the carnivorous pitcher plant, which appears to contain an EM-like culture in the liquid contained within its "pitcher".

Patent, Trademark and Licensing Questions and Issues 
For the most accurate reportage which I can muster at this time regarding the patent, trademark and licensiing issues surrounding EM and siilar culttures, please, if you have not already read it, see the section on this website entitled Are Effective Microorganisms (EM·1) Patented, Trademarked or Registered?

Some non_EMRO Producers and Vendors of EM and EM-Like Cultures

Japan and Parts of Asia - Unofficial Producers 
While EM Laboratory, INFRC and APNAN are the EMRO-licensed producers and vendors of EM in Japan, I have learned from several sources that there is one more company in Japan which makes EM culture, and has done so for years, for the marketplace,although not via EMRO or EMRO-approved channels. By all accounts, while the EM produced by this company seems a bit different from the EM produced for EMRO by EM Laboratory, it is reported to be quite effective and workable.

Pakistan - Beneficial Microorganisms, aka BM or BM-Technology 
While there are official EMRO channels of EM production and distribution in Pakistan, another large producer and vendor of EM markets their product as Beneficial Microorganisms, aka BM and BM-Technology.  The organization is connected with Dr. Tahir Hussain, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, and a great advocate and promoter of BM. Dr. Hussain studied with Dr. Higa at the graduate level for several years in the 1990s. 

China and India 
Now, for a bit of the dark side of the EM world, I have received numerous reports that there are several "bootleg" organizations operating in China and other parts of Asia which produce an EM-like product of very questionable quality, since it appears to be made via successive serial activations (aka "extension") of EM, and, worse, it is claimed that the unscrupulous vendors often market their product under the name EM-1, which can, of course, garner a bad reputation for the "real" EM-1,as the products may be of grossly inferior quality.

South Korea 
While EM has made some good inroads into South Korea via official EMRO channels such as EMRO, INFRC and APNAN, at least one producer is marketing a similar EM culture under the name "Compound Microorganisms", or CM. This is likely a spill-over from the wide usage in North Korea of an EM culture which the Republic of North Korea calls "Compound Microorganisms", or CM (more on this in the following North Korea section...).

South Korea is also the home of the rather successful Lanox fermented antioxidant nutritoinal supplement beverages. They claim on their website and in their marketing books and flyers that they use Effective Microorganisms for their culture, and they enumerate about the same member organisms in their culture as are seen in a typical EM culture, but they claim that they produce the culture inoculant stock in a university laboratory in South Korea.

North Korea 
EM technologies have apparently received wide acceptance in North  Korea, according to Dr. Higa and others in ERMO. In fact, it has been claimed that EM is used on literally every farm in North Korea, enabling the country to be now largely self-sufficidnt for food production. However, it appears, from information I have received frmo several sources, that the vast majority of EM and EM-like culture used in North Korea is produced and distributed under the name "Compound Microorganisms", or CM, perhaps as a political tool by the North Koreans to distance the technology a bit from what might be perceived as its Japanese roots. So, save for the existence of one or two published  journal articles on CM use in agriculture, co-authored with Dr. Higa or his associates, the North Koreans do not seem to openly acknowledge the connection with Dr. Higa and the term "Effective Microorganisms". 

Denmark and Europe 
In Denmark, the Vita Biosa company produces a wide range of EM-like cultures and products for human, pet, waste and soil use under the name Vita Biosa (with usage-differentiated names such as Vita Biosa Pet, Vita Biosa Soil, etc.). I have tasted their human Vita Biosa beverage, and found it quite potent; I have also heard from a number of folks in Europe who have used the Vita Biosa human beverage as a nutritional supplement with great success. 

Australia 
Australia seems, from all reports I receive at the moment, to be largely without any large effective EMRO or EMRO-licensed channels of EM production and distribution, and I consistently hear stories of at least two small independent "unofficial" (meaning non-EMRO sanctioned) EM producers and vendors in Australia, and have recevied reports that at least one of the cultures is quite good.

North America 
The USA enjoys a good solid presence of EMRO in the form of EMRO USA, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, and with a number of EM distributor/consultants across the USA (these are called CEMPS, for Certified EM Providers); their webpage may be found at http://www.emrousa.com

However, the USA also seems to be the home to at least several other producers and vendors of EM and EM-like microbial cultures, none of which seem to be officially connected with  EMRO, and some of which have likely never heard of EM or EMRO, having stumbled upon similar microbial consortium cultures via their own independent routes. 

Cultures Obviously Connected with the EM World 
Of the companies which appear to acknowledge some connection with "effective microorganisms"', or EM, at least two of the EM producers and/or vendors seem to be in California, one in the Pacific Northwest, at least one in the Midwest, and at least one in Florida. Their products apppear to be marketed under various names, including:

  • Effective Microorganisms, or EM
  • Beneficial Microorganisms, aka BM
  • Benefical and Efficient Microorganisms, aka BEM
  • Beneficial and Effective Microorganisms, aka BEM
  • EM Probiotic
  • Effective Microbes, aka EM
  • Molasses Culture, aka MC 
  • Beneficial Deep Soil Microbial Culture (along with some similar names)
First, allow me to note that, to my best knowledge, none of these companies use, or have ever used, the trademarked EM·1 or the EM·1 logo owned by EMRO.  While I have received some verbal reports casting some doubt on the quality of at least one of the California EM products, I have received only good reports about some of the other EM-like microbial culture inoculant products, and have also seceived samples of several such products (from both the USA and from around the world) which I have tested in my labs, most of which were, in my estimation, as effective as the EM produced by EMRO USA, at least within the limited range, scope and conditions of my testing.

Somewhat Similar Products Which Contain Consortia of the Phototrophes and Other Organisms 
I have in the past year stumbled upon a half-dozen USA producers and vendors of products across the spectrum of:

  • livestock feed supplements
  • aquaculture water tratement cultures
  • high-end aquarium microbial cultures
  • waste treatment cultures
  • livestock waste treatment cultures 
  • aerosol barn deodorizer microbial mixes
  • mosquito-eradication microbial culture
Now the notable thing about these vendors is that none of them seem to have heard of EM or the whole world of EM users. However, upon digging more deeply, each of these products from each of the vendors were founn to contain the same PNSB phototrophic organisms found in EM (and listed in Dr. Higa's patent), along with anywhere from one to eight other microorganisms, several of which have been named by Dr. Higa as potential membrs of the EM microbial consortia. Some of these companies and their staffers (including their microbiologists) were quite happy to hear from me and to chat with me, and openly discussed with me the organisms in their culture products, while others were extremely cagey and revealed little. One company even generously shared with me several research articles and reports which they had produced ove the years on their products which contained the phototrophic organisms along with some other organisms.
EM Secondary Products from EMRO/EMCO  
and Other Vendors: Ceramics and More

EMCO (at one time apparently called EM Solutions Network), a separate entity from EMRO, produces and markets worldwide some EM "secondary" products, all made from EM or EM offshoots, such as EM ceramic products, EM-X antioxidant supplement liquid, EM-Z automotive liquid, a bokashi kitchen composting bucket (available in two sizes), EM salt, EM soap, and a few other items. However, to complicate the picture, a number of  Japanese ceramics companies also make EM ceramic products and other secondary EM products (deodorizing sprays, storage containers, and especially nutritional supplement tablets and elixirs) as well, which are largely not marketed through the EMCO channels, but via other marketing distribution channels to EM Shops in Japan and to other vendors of EM-type products around the world.

Varied EM Products from EMRO and EMCO (formerly EM Solutions Network) marketed in Japan 
Varied EM Products from EMRO and EMCO (formerly EM Solutions Network) marketed in Japan

The EM (or EM-X) Ceramics 
There seem to be two separate classes of ceramics fired with EM or EM products in them. They are:

  • ceramics which are claimed to contain EM organisms, and are claimed to structure water beneficially. This class includes EM Ceramic powder and the newer Super Cera C EM ceramic powder. Now, I have never been able to understand how the organisms can survive the admitted 1,000 F firing temperature, but folks at one EM retail store in the USA have assured me that the organisms "survive the heat because heat only harms bad organisms, not good organisms..." (sic).... (no, I do not believe this horseshit;  I think things get lost in translation sometimes....) While it is true that the photosynthetic (aka phototropic) bacteria (Rhodopseudomonas capsulata) in EM can likely survive up to such temperatures (this information from standard microbiological reference manuals such as Berger's), it is highly doubtful that any of the other species can likewise survive the firing process.  On the other hand, Dr. Higa has stated that he feels that the phototropic organisms are perhaps the most important piece of the EM puzzle, and that they are near-magical in what they do.  The remaining claims about the EM powder, that it can and does beneficially structure water and will encourage the growth of beneficial organisms (and discourage growth of harmful organisms) I can find quite believable!
  • ceramics which contain only EM-X and some "antioxidant properties" from it; this product may or may not also structure water..... These usually have names such as EM-X ceramic powder, or variants.  Dr. Higa has further claimed that the EM-X ceramic products (also the EM ceramic products, above) can and will transfer or transmit beneficial patterns, energies and information to water or to other substances in which they are suspended (concrete, plaster, compost, animal waste), and thus make for a more beneficial local  environment. 
However, it gets confusing from here on in, since both product types are offfered in solid shape forms and in powder forms, and some sources in the EM distributor chain also claim that there are "soft" ceramic forms and "hard" ceramic forms, and that the soft ceramic forms must be disposed of (buried) after 6 months of use because they "absorb toxins".....  I get lost about here, folks....

I do choose to use a small amount of Super Cera C EM ceramic powder in making my batches of Activated EM (AEM). I like the logic the folks at SCD offered as a rationale for doing so: 

  • it helps to structure the water
  • it imparts other beneficial "information" (energies, patterns) to the water
  • it encourages the growth of the desirable EM organism
  • it discourages growth of "unfriendly" organisms
  • it acts as a "nucleus" or "center" to which the EM organisms may attach in liquid media
  • their remining claim, that the (fired) ceramic still contains lots of the beneficial EM organisms is one which I do not necessarily chose to believe....(see above discussion)
Dr. Higa's Patents on EM-related Ceramics 
Dr.Higa holds at least three patents apiece in Japan, the USA and other countries for several methods of incorporating products from the EM organisms and the organism themselves into ceramics which are fired ("calcined" is the term used in the patents) to create stable ceramic powders and solid shapes which may be used to treat water, waste, exhaust gases, and to deodorize air, water and waste.

EM-X Antioxidant Liquid Supplement 
EMCO distributes EM-X antioxidant supplement liquid (and also EM-X-2, a lower-priced and purportedly less-potent version in some parts of the world.) Please see the section entitled EM, Antioxidant Activity, and EM-X as well as other sections of this website for further information on EM-X antioxidant supplement and related products.

EM-W, aka EMW - EM "White" Liquid 
EMCO distributes EM-W for laundry and varied household utility uses as well. At least in Japan, the EM stores market a light yellowish "antioxidant" liquid named "EM-W", or "EM White" ,and the intended purpose is for use in treating linens and other laundry items, to impart to them "antioxidant power" and some kind of energy or frequency which is aparently beneficial.  I have heard from two folks who have used this product, and both claim that it had beneficial effects, and one claimed that he could "feel" the beneficial energies coming from his EM-W treated bedsheets and towels.

EM-W is basically a version of EM-1 brewed with simple sugars such as corn syrup instead of blackstrap molasses. It is primarily marketed in Asia,and its primary market seems to be for laundry use, and to "condition" linens or clothing beneficially. However, since EM-W is relatively inexpensive, and has a lighter and more appealing color (at least in Japan) than EM-1, which is brewed with molasses, many folks in Japan reportedly purchase EM-W for drinking purposes inorder to ingest it as a nutritional supplement. One caution here is that the shelf life of EM-W seems to be far below that of EM-1, and often on the order of only a month or two, especially after opening. This is due to the fact that blackstrap molasses is not used in the fermentation process, and the resultant liquid, while more lightly colored, seems to be less stable than EM-1. Please see the section entitled EM, Antioxidant Activity, and EM-X for further information on EM-X antioxidant supplement and related products.

EM-Z (aka EMZ) Automotive Treatment Liquid 
EMCO distributes EM-Z for automotive use, and the automotive treatment package consists of two separate products, a small packet of EM ceramic shapes, and a bottle of EM-Z liquid, to be used for treating gas, engine, car and tires. Some rumors have it that EM-Z basically a version of EM-1, while others have it that EM-Z is a cheaper grade of EM-X, which was discussed above. Please see the section entitled EM, Antioxidant Activity, and EM-X for further information on EM-X antioxidant supplement and related products.

EM Nutritional Products 
The field of nutritional supplement products made with EM is so vast that it has warranted creation of several sections and articles devoted to various aspects of the topic. So, for a bit of insight on the wide range of human and animal nutritional supplement (dietary supplement) products brewed with EM, please see any or all of the following sections in this site:


go back to top of page and table of contents 
  
 

Are You an Intermediate or Advanced Brewer of Activated EM (AEM) or EM Brews Intended for Human Use, and Are You Looking for an Encyclopedic and Comprehensive Guide to Brewing Such Secondary EM Products?

The author of this sie, Vinny Pinto, has authored and published an encyclopedic guide and handbook which may help you in brewing high-quality EM fermented antioxidant secondary products for human, animal, agricultural, waste and industrial use, particularly Activated EM and EM brews for human and animal ingestion. Are you an intermediate or advanced user or technician working with EM, or do you wish to move to the advanced level with ease? This is an e-document in PDF file format containing both basic and advanced information, aimed only at the intermediate and advanced user, and including recipes, ingredients, methods and techniques, for brewing very-high quality batches of EM brews (for human use), Activated EM, aka AEM, EM Extended and EM Secondary Solution, and also hints on making very high quality fermented solid/granular products such as bokashi or EM-fermented grains for animal feed.  Also covers the topic of ormus elements in EM.  Content goes beyond what I have offered on my websites and on the list groups.

The book is entitled Fermentation with Syntropic Antioxidative Microbes: An Advanced Guide to Brewing EM Fermented Secondary Products -- an E-book and is available in both e-book and printed/bound format. For further information on this book and on other titles available from the same author (the creator of this website), please go to the E-books, Mini-E-books, Quick Tutorials and Newsletters page on Vinny's main website by clicking here. 
 


 
Looking for an E-mail List Group on EM and Health?

EM-health e-mail list group at Yahoo Groups 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EM-health/ 
This e-mail discussion group is devoted to the use of Effective Microorganisms (EM or EM-1) in human and animal health, and related topics such as their use in agriculture to produce food of higher quality, sometimes known as "beyond-organic" or "uber-organic".  There are already a number of EM fermented antioxidant nutritional supplements on the market, with more being developed every day. The list welcomes beginners, "consumer users" and also serious researchers. This list is moderated by Vinny Pinto, a researcher in the fields of EM1 and nutritional antioxidants, and a peak health consultant/coach. Vinny is a scientist and health researcher who has devoted a tremendous amount of time to research on EM and it's uses in health and healing, 
 


The  EM Culture and 
the Organisms in It

Culture Uniformity Across Different Labels (e.g, Agricultural, Waste, Compost, Soil, Septic Labels) 
You have noticed that I mentioned above, while discussing all the variant label names for EM microbial inoculant products, such as EM Soil, EM Waste, EM Septic Waste, and EM Agricultural, that they are all exactly the same microbial product, and simply bottled under different labels  to satisfy requirements of local regulatory agencies in various countries .  However, there has been a lot of confusion on this topic, especially in the USA, and the actual story of how I finally sorted truth from fact is a bit complex and funny......

One Culture or Several Closely-Related Ones Across Labels? 
My best understanding of this topic, much as related above, is that the various differntiated "usage" labels, such EM Soil, EMWaste, EM Septic Waste, and EM Agricultural, are are all exactly the same microbial product, and simply bottled under different labels  to satisfy requirements of local regulatory agencies in various countries.  However, it turns out that at varying times in the history of these labels (again, primarily in the USA) some labels, such as the ones marked for waste or septic use, were spiked with extra phototrophic culture, to provide extra quantities of the phototrophic organisms (which are particularly effective in breaking down waste and destroying odors. However, I have been assured that even at those times -- between 1999 and 2002, the culture was essentially the same across labels, but that some labels (such as waste) may simply have contained greater amounts of specific classes of organisms (such as the phototrophic organisms cited earlier.) Further, it has been asserted that some (non-EMRO) producers of EM-type cultures, such as one in California, continue to this day to spike their EM batches intended for waste use with extra amounts of the phototrophic organisms, due to the efficacy of these organisms in managing odors and toxins..

By the Way -- Exactly How Many Organisms in EM? 
EM as produced by EMRO currently contains nine (9) listed species of organisms in the microbial consortium in the USA regional brew (and fewer for the Hawaiian regional brew), and the current Japanese regional formula also contains the same nine declared species of organisms.  At one time, there were about 15 primary organisms claimed in the USA regional formula, originally produced and marketed by EM Technologies, and now produced and marketed by EMRO USA, and the exact number may have varied a bit depending on batch.

Yes, I do know that many folks, including staffers at EM retail stores, as well as many EM websites from across the world, have claimed that EM contains about 83 species of microorganisms. Some history on the matter may help here: back in the early 1980s, when Dr. Higa first developed EM, it did contain far more than the current nine to15 primary organisms found in the culture in many regional formulas, although likely far fewer than 83.  However, as Higa and his researchers learned more and more about the magic of EM, as well discovering the primacy and central role of just a few classes of organisms, they were able to constantly trim the count of organisms until by now most regional versions of EM contain just 15 or fewer primary organisms.  So, as noted above, the official number of primary organisms claimed for the current USA regional formula is now just nine (and the same for Japan.) Part of the problem with the number of species may be due to a mis-translation of the first book written by Dr. Higa into English, wherein he appeared to state that EM contained 83 species of organisms.  A more correct translation of his statement would have been "...one could use up to 83 different species to formulate EM."  However, the mis-translation apparently caused many folks in the West to start promulgating the story (myth) of 80 to 83 primary organisms in EM. Incidentally, I have been informed by folks who have studied with Dr. Higa that he has since raised the number of candidate species for EM from the original count of 83 to somewhere over 130 species.

To read Dr. Higa's own narrative in his words (already referenced once above in an earlier section) about how the number of organisms was gradually winnowed down, you may wish to read the paper presented by Dr. Higa at the Royal Agricultural College of UK, entitled THE TECHNOLOGY OF EFFECTIVE MICROORGANISMS – CONCEPT AND PHILOSOPHY at an off-sitepage at http://www.royagcol.ac.uk/research/conferences/higa.htm

According to the folks at the variuos vendors who produce EM culture, all the primary species present in the EM microbial consortium are what is known as “dominant” organisms, meaning that they can entrain and “control” other local environmental organisms, which are more passive and often open to "entrainment". Further, they seem to form a hardy, robust, and highly adaptable synergistic microbial consortium which is far more robust and adaptable than any of it's member organisms alone. Interestingly, biologists for much of the past two hundred years had tended to look at microorganisms only as single species at a time, and it was assumed that this was how they usually functioned in nature, as independent single species.  It is only quite recently that biologists have come to understand that this earlier assumption of "individualist" species and colonies was a misconception, and that most species of microorganisms are found in nature not alone, but rather as part of a cluster or aggretate of from nine to about 35 synergistic species, for which biologists have borrowed the term consortium (or consortia, as some authors use it.)

So, What are the Primary Classes of Organisms in EM? 
While most EM formulations may contain organisms outside these families as helper organisms, the primary classes of organisms in most current versions of EM are three, and these are seen as the core of EM microbial culture: 

  • lactic-acid bacteria
  • yeasts
  • phototrophic (aka photosynthetic) bacteria
Many regional formulas for EM contain roughly three genus and species per group, but this will vary a bit from region to region. For example, as mentioned above, the USA regional formula (and also the Canadian formula and Japanese formulations, which are the same) currently claims nine (9) organisms (an earlier version of the formula claimed about 15 species, so there were a few other species in the mix as well.)  The Japanese EM formula produced by EMRO curently contains the same 9 organisms, as noted earlier. As noted earlier, the technology originated in Japan, but the actual cultures for each reagion are made locally, using only native species of organisms from the local region, so there will be some variance in exact species and formula from region to region. Dr. Higa and the EMRO folks have stated repeatedly that no one regional EM is better than another.

In the past, some regional formulas have contained organisms from other classes as well, such as actinomyces species, aka ray fungi and true mold fungi. These may still be found in the regional formulas in a few areas in the world, but are not seen as essential, or primary, organisms in the EM technology, but rather helper organisms. The full complement of species from all five classes of organisms also tends to appear in all of Dr. Higa's patents, wherein his patent(s) specify that his claim covers using at least five species of organisms, and drawing at least one species from each of the five classes.

Interestingly, Dr. Higa has pointed out in several lectures that all three groups of organisms (listed above) have been found throughout the history of the human race in fermented foods, although only the first two groups (lactic acid bacteria and yests) have traditionally been used in Western cultures for food fermentation.  It is believed that the apparent ability of some forms of miso and natto (traditinal Japanese fermented soy foods) is in part due to the antioxidant products of fermentation, some believe that may be partially due in particular to the presence and action of phototrophic bacteria. Incidentally, most phototrophic organisms are anaerobes, meaning that they thrive in an anoxygenic environment.   Indeed, many species are found at the bottom of the sea or lake beds, or in deep soil.  Phototropic bacteria species will not activate or start and reproducing unless they are exposed to either sunlight or food, or both. Further, while lactic acid bacteria and yeasts feed voraciously on molasses, which is the historically-favored culture media for stock EM and for Activated EM (aka EM Extension) and other EM applications, phototrophic organisms do not thrive well at all on molasses; they vastly prefer animal waste products, other wastes or even toxic wastes or pollutants (although they can apparently survive on the wastes and other products of yeast and lactic acid bacteria, and even on the yeast themselves -- indeed, that is part of their mutual interdependence and synergy.) 

I have deduced that in EM stock culture and in Activated EM, the phototrophic bacteria survive and grow (if slowly) on the wastes from the other two groups of organisms, and can also feed on the yeast themselves, especially the dead "yeast bodies."  So, the phototrophic organisms are (deliberately) not increased as greatly in population count (volume) when EM is cultured on molasses, but rather stay somewhat dormant, awaiting a wake-up call by exposure to either a good light source or to a good food (again, their idea of food is waste and toxic waste...) This will often happen only when EM encounters waste products, as when diluted Activated EM comes into contact with animal wastes, soil, toxins, or sunlight (or both!)  Further, while the first two families of organisms produce a brew which is very clean-smelling, with a fresh, sweet and sour smell and taste, phototrophic organisms, if present and active in very large quantities, may (not always) produce a bit of a "low-tide" sulfur smell or taste, or the slightly bitter smell and taste of butyric acid (a harmless and healthful antioxidant found in butter, which gives butter it's characteristic flavor.) 

What is in EM2, EM3 and EM4? 
We related above that the three primary groups of organisms in EM are yeasts, phototrophic bacteria, and lactic acid bacteria.  It so happens that EM2 contains only the yeasts and related organisms, EM3 contains only the phototrophic bacteria and related organisms, and EM4 contains only the lactic acid bacteria and related organisms.  EM is simply a combination of EM2, EM3 and EM4 all in one formula.

What Are the Exact Names of the Organisms in EM, and Exactly What Does Each Do? 
A lot of folks new to EM seem to become obsessed with one or the other of these questions, asking to know more than simply the names and functions of the three general groups of organisms, which are:

  • lactic acid bacteria, aka LAB
  • yeasts
  • phototrophic bacteria
and wish, instead, to know the names of each individual species....

For the USA regional EM microbial inoculant, which currently contains nine (9) claimed primary organisms, the exact species claimed in the formula are shown below. Incidentally, at this time, the Japanese formula for EM as produced by EM Laboratory for EMRO Japan (please recall that there are plenty of other producers of EM culture in the world as well) consists of the same nine organisms.  The organisms are listed below, broken into classes:

  • Lactic acid bacteria (these are beneficial organisms widely  found in fermented foods, and in the GI tract of healthy humans and animals):
  • Lactobacillus plantarum 
  • Lactobacillus casei 
  • Lactobacillus fermentum 
  • Lactobacillus salivarius 
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii 
  • Phototrophic purple non-sulfur bacteria, aka PNSB (these are widely found in ponds, soil, on plant leaves, in ice, snow and in icicles):
  • Rhodopseudomonas palustris 
  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides (aka R. spheroides)
  • Rhodobacter capsulatus 
  • Yeast:
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae (these are beneficial organisms widely  found in fermented foods, and in the GI tract of healthy humans and animals)
As breifly referenced above, EM formulations in the past have also included other organisms than those listed above, such as:
  • phototrophic bacteria other than the three named above, including Rhodospirillum rubrum
  • beneficial (non-pathogenic) members of the order Acetomycetes, aka Actinomycetales, such as Streptomyces and other so-called ray fungi, which are really a soil bacteria which happen to look like fungi (incidentally, it is many members of the Actinomycetes order which produce metabolites which are responsible for the musty, mildewey odor of old damp basements and the aged caskets favored by elderly vampires from the dark nether regins of Europe and Russia.....)
  • a number of websites and even older labels from EM formulations have claimed that some regional versions of EM have contained "actinomyces" (or, alternately, spelled as "actinomycets"), which is one family within the order Actinomycetales (mentioned above), but I suspect that they may not have meant the family Actinomyces, but rather the broader order name Actinomycetales (aka Actinomycetes), which would include the Streptomyces and other so-called ray fungi already mentioned above.
  • beneficial yeasts other than S. cerivisiae, such as Candida utilis
  • other lactic acid bacteria than the five species named above
  • beneficial members of the Streptococcus bacterial family, such as S. lactis or S. thermophilus; these are normal and beneficial members of the gut flora in humans and animals
  • beneficial members of the Streptomyces family (one of the so-called ray fungi), such as S. albus and S. griseus 
  • beneficial members of the Propionibacterium family; these are normal and beneficial members of the gut flora in humans and animals
  • fungi (although there has sometimes been some confusion here, on the part of authors of some of these citations, with ray fungi, which are really a bacteria).  Nonetheless, various EM formulas have contained fungi, usually representative sepcies such as Aspergillus oryzae and Mucor hiemalis.
There is also some evidence that some EM formulations may have included beneficial species from the following families or groups:
  • Leuconostoc, a family of lactic acid bacteria
  • members of the Bifidobacterium family (bifidobacteria, like lactic acid bacteria and S. cerivisiae yeast, are beneficial organisms normally found in the GI tract flora of healthy humans and animals).  This particular possibility is the least verified and least verifiable, and the hypothesis may well turn out to be specious.
My own sense, much as what Dr. Higa relates, is that the exact species and names in EM formulations are not very important, but, rather, it is the synergy and relationship (interdependence) between them which is important.

The Larger List of Classes and Species of Organisms for Dr. Higa's Patents 
In light of the discussion above, it may be useful to briefly examine the larger, more inclusive list of possible candidate classes of organisms and the candidate species within them which Dr. Higa has published in some of his patents.  The list follows:

The patents specify that the microbial consortium must consist of at least five species of organisms, with at lest one species drawn from each of five general classes of organisms.  The five general classes of organisms are: 

  • lactic acid bacteria
  • yeasts
  • phototrophic organisms
  • Actinomycetes (aka ray fungi, but really bacteria)
  • mold fungi
Specific Species Suggested in the Patents 
Please note that in the lists below, all codes appearing in parentheses with an ATCC or IFO prefix indicate the exact catalog number for the species/subspecies at a culture bank, or in a well-known database or culture catalog; e.g., ATCC indicates "American Type Culture Collection", while IFO denotes the IFO microbial database maintained by the Institute for Fermentation, Osaka (Japan).
Lactic acid bacteria include for example microorganisms belonging to Lactobacillus, Propionibacterium, Pediococcus and Streptococcus. Specific examples of lactic acid bacteria include Lactobacillus bulgaricus (e.g. ATCC 11842) , Propionibacterium freudenreichii (e.g. IFO 12391), Pediococcus halophilus (e.g. IFO 12172), Streptococcus lactis (e.g. IFO 12007) and Streptococcus faecalis (e.g. IFO 3971). 
Yeast include for example microorganisms belonging to Saccharomyces and Candida. Specific examples of these yeast include Saccharomyces cerevisiae (e.g. IFO 0304), Saccharomyces lactis (e.g. IFO 0433) and Candida utilis (e.g. IFO 0396). 

Phototrophic bacteria include for example microorganisms belonging to Rhodopseudomonas, Rhodospirillum, Chromatium, and Chlorobium. Specific examples of phototrophic bacteria include Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides (e.g. IFO 12203), Rhodospirillum rubrum (e.g. IFO 3986), Chromatium okenii and Chlorobium limicola. Please note that the family name Rhodobacter is often used interchangeably with the fmaily name Rhodopseudomonas, and hence they might be considered interchangeable mix-and-match family prefixes.

Actinomycetes include for example microorganisms belonging to Streptomyces, Streptoverticillium, Nocardia, Micromonospora and Rhodococcus. Specific examples of actinomycetes include Streptomyces albus (e.g. ATCC 3004), Streptoverticillium baldaccii (e.g. ATCC 23654), Nocardia asteroides (e.g. ATCC 19247 ), Micromonospora chalcea ( e. g. ATCC 12452) and Rhodococcus rhodochrous (e.g. ATCC 13803). 

Mold fungi include for example microorganisms belonging to Aspergillus and Mucor. Specific examples of these mold fungi include Aspergillus japonicus (e.g. IFO 4060), Aspergillus oryzae (e.g. IFO 4075) and Mucor hiemalis (e.g. IFO 5303). 

Lastly, as already stated in the Are Effective Microorganisms (EM·1) Patented, Trademarked or Registered? section on the first page of this EM Info website, the patent numbers and titles for Dr. Higa's US patents related to EM are:
5,707,856  Microbiological method for disposing of organic waste materials  
5,698,028  Composition and process for improving soil  
5,683,951  Composition and process for improving water quality and fuel  
5,683,665   Composition and process for cleansing exhaust gas  
5,683,664   Composition and process for deodorizing an odor  
5,602,065   Process for preparing functional ceramics  
5,591,634   Microbiological method for disposing of organic waste materials  
5,521,131   Functional ceramics 
A Model for the Synergistic Microbial Consortium 
In any case, Dr. Higa and others who have gained long familiarity with EM have long assured people that it is not so much the exact species of the organisms which are important, but rather, the folowing points are highly important, and overshadow anything else:
  • the interdependence and mutuality of the organisms 
  • the diversity and synergy of the organisms
Dr. Higa and the EMRO organizations sometimes borrow from the old classical physics nuclear model of the atom to illustrate the nature of the relationship betwen the organisms in EM. Please see the image below:

B/W drawing of nucleus and electron rings model of EM 
In this clasical "nucleus/orbital" atomic model, the lactic acid bacteria are seen as providing literally a safe environment or "housing" for the other two groups of organisms, as do the yeasts to some extent as well, so each of these is shown as occupying a "shell" around the nucleus, which is the phototrophic organisms.  The phototrophic bacteria are seen as rather dependent upon the two types of organisms in the shells to provide the necesary conditions to survive and thrive, but, on the other hand, they also provide vital nutrients to the organism in these shells.  The reason the phototrophics occupy a position in the center is not only because they are protected and nurtured by the shell organisms, but because they are the "heart" of much of the magic of EM: they provide a reducing (meaning electron-donor, versus oxidative) environment, replete with readily-available hydrogen in the form of dissolved gases and various hydrogen ions (including hydride species), and marked by a relatively low ORP (oxidation-reduction potential), which, along with other secretions of the phototrohics, enable the trio of groups to deomompose organic materials in a reducing manner, rather than an oxidizing manner.  The three types of organisms work together to help each other digest a wide range of materials and to produce a wide range of antioxidants and nutrients. 

Dr. Higa has also expressed his opinion that the phototrophic organisms are literally "nuclear-powered" (something may have been lost in translation, but some of the idea comes through...!) and that the phototrophics emit certain kinds of frequencies or energies which affect nearby organisms and matter, and can have a profound effect in "regulating" or encouraging nearby bio-chemical processes to proceed in a beneficial, or reducing (antioxidative, as opposed to oxidative) manner.

Another Perspective on the Cultures in EM 
Matthew Wood, co-founder of SCD, aka SCD World, a vendor of EM products and consultancy for the same (their website may be found at http://www.scdworld.com )  studied in Japan with Dr. Higa, and in a recent letter, described his own view of the matter of the EM culture and the species found in it:

[excerpted from a letter from Matthew Wood, co-founder of SCD:] "Comments on the question, "what organisms are in EM?":

This is a very difficult question to answer.

First of all, EM is produced using different methods, different raw materials, different equipment and different environments in many different countries.  Therefore, the actual groups of organisms in EM are different in many different countries.  They are even differen from batch to batch from the same manufacturing facility.  Some critics say this is a problem for EM, because it can produce inconsistent results.  However, Dr. Higa teaches that there are many species of organisms that, if combined in a specific way, can create a mixed culture that will have similar effects of EM.  He teaches that the "key" is to have a combined culture containing beneficial lactic acid bacteria, beneficial yeasts and beneficial phototrophic bacteria.  This is "EM".  For example, in Dr. Higa's patents, he lists many many species 
that could be used to represent these three key groups.

EM is "officially" manufactured in Japan by two companies and "unofficially" manufactured by at least one other company.  Each of these companies produce distinctly different EM-1, EM-2 and EM-3.  Many variables are different among the methods of the different groups.  Yet, Dr. Higa teaches that they are "functionally" all similar.  Many people prefer the EM-1 manufactured by EM Laboratory.  This company is a part of the International Nature Farming Research Center (INFRC).  This is not an organization started, owned or controlled by the EM Research Organization (EMRO).  However, EMRO has a "Know-How" agreement with INFRC so that they will receive a royalty for the use of Dr. Higa's technology.  In fact, INFRC has been around for much longer than EMRO.  INFRC was started, and is 
controlled by, Sekai Kyusei Kyo (SKK), which is a religious/philosophical organization founded on the teachings of Mokichi Okada.  Another branch of the SKK religion is Mokichi Okada Association (MOA).  SKK, through INFRC, is what launched EM technology to the world during the mid to late 1980's. 
This occurred because one of Dr. Higa's students (who was studying EM) was a member of SKK and introduced Dr. Higa and EM to SKK as a tool that fit their philosophy and could be used in "Nature Farming".  EMRO was not founded until somewhere around 1994.

Now, back to the organisms in EM.  It is as much about the process, as it is about the organisms themselves.  Dr. Higa teaches that the process will ensure that only "beneficial" organisms survive.

Most, if not all, manufacturers of EM do not grow EM from "pure culture". They do not grow EM in a sterile environment and they do not use sterile media.  So, the dominant species can "drift" over time, largely effected by the substrates used.  For example, one of the materials often used is fish emulsion (basically ground up fish parts).  If this is pasteurized before using as a culture media, it will not contribute many organisms (depends on how it is "pasteurized").  However, if it is not paseurized, the species of 
organisms living on that batch of fish guts will likely grow and be present in EM, if they can survive the process and compliment the other beneficials in "seed EM".  As you may imagine, this makes EM-1 a "nightmare" to manage for regulatory and labelling issues.  It also means that many of the EM 
labels from around the world are often not accurate.

Some of the more advanced producers of EM, such as EM Laboratory in Japan, will regularly "spike" their batches with species from pure culture.  They call this "renewing" the cultures.  This is probably the best way to maintain consistency (certain species always present in predictable populations), while also getting the species richness obtained from purposely not growing in pure culture.  Dr. Higa taught his students that EM made from pure culture is not as effective as EM made naturally from high quality ingredients.

I have taken EM from different manufacturers and had it cultured out on various media, purified to pure culture and then identified each different species.  They have never matched the species on the labels or in the literature. 

It is because of these issues that many manufacturers have decided not to put species on the label.  The less specific they can be, the less chance of "misbranding". 

It can also be noted that because of these complex issues (only summarized here), there is no accurate and up to date patent on EM.  I think this is because there are so many versions of what is functionally the same thing.

Our company, Sustainable Community Development, LLC  (SCD) is committed to providing as much information about EM technology as we can afford to. Actually we have hundreds of research papers, case studies and reports on file in our office.  Unfortunately, we have not had the resources yet to 
scan all of this and make them available to the public.

When looking for EM products, please consider buying from our small grassroots company.  Your purchase from us support our effort to provide education, research and development with EM technology.  You can buy products from our on-line store at www.emtrading.com.

If you have EM products to sell, please send us an email.  We may be happy to offer your EM product at our on-line store." [end of excerpt from letter by Matthew Wood]

Can I Stop Buying EM Stock Inoculant After My First Batch and Just Keep Making Serial Batches of Activated EM (aka EM Extension?) 
Incidentally, the above discourse also illustrates why you cannot simply extend or re-activate EM forever by simply making a string of never-ending serial batches of Activated EM with molasses.  While the lactic acid organisms and/or the yeast may survive and thrive well (assuming that other stray organisms do not eventually contaminate the culture) across successive serial "activations", some of the helper organisms, along with the phototrophic organisms may not be allowed to awaken and reproduce efficiently or sufficiently,, and thus may suffer successive serial attrition or attenuation, to the detriment of the whole culture, if you attempt to continually serially "extend" consecutive batches of Activated EM (AEM.)

So, How, Then, is EM Brewed at the Production Facilities? 
EM is not simply cultured from a batch of older EM on molasses and water, as is done with Activated EM. Rather, to ensure the purity and count of all the species of organisms, EM is separately brewed in three vats, one each for:

  • EM2, which is the yeasts
  • EM3, which is the phototrophic organisms
  • EM4, which consists of  lactic acid bacteria
(these three "sub-cultures" are the three component groups comprising EM) each with its own nutrients (for example, the vat of phototrophic organisms does not use molasses as a nutrient, but rather a more suitable foodstuff for such organisms, and the yeasts do not feed on molasses alone.)  When these three batches are complete, they are the mixed in a vat in a pre-determined ratio to form EM stock, which is then cultured as a synergistic culture with water and molasses (and a few minor ingredients) prior to bottling, distribution and sale.

The Secrets of the Various Dilutions and Ratios: 
Are the Dilutions (such as 1:1:100 or 1:1:1,000) as Powerful as Activated EM (at 1:1:20)? 
How Long Do the Dilutions with Molasses Stay Potent and Viable? 
Why Does My Activated EM Have an Effective Life of 30 Days, While EM Stock Culture is Claimed to Have a Useful Lifetime (Viability) of 6 Months?

The above three questions were lumped together because they are intimately inter-related and their answers even moreso.  It is true that for various applications (animal water, spraying soil, compost or waste, etc.) varied dilutions of Activated EM are often used, either alone with water at ratios from 1:20 (Activated to Water) to 1:1,000 or more, or with molasses and water, again at ratios from 1:1:20 (Activated to Molaesses to Water) to perhaps 1:6,000 or more.  It is only natural that questions arise as to the stength of these dilutions, the lifetime, and also the shelf life of EM1 stock inoculant. Please see the full section below with the same title as above for some answers.....!

So, Can I Just Tinker at Home with Local Decay Organisms and Create My Own Version of EM? 
This feat is nearly impossible, unless you were a trained microbiologist (and horticulturist!) with a good laboratory and good brewing equipment. Although I have heard of people who have tired to accomplish this, using sourdough cultures (you see, all sourdough cultures consist of a symbiotic and synergistic relationship betwen a unique species of lactic acid bacteria and a unique strain of yeast) and some liquid from compost buckets, I have never heard of anyone succeeding.... All ended up eventually purchasing EM stock microbial inoculant. 

On the other hand, there are hundreds of other brands and types of microbial inoculant products (for waste treatment and/or soil treatment, for example) now on the market.  Dr. Higa has said that there is nothing wrong with any of them, and that the best approach would be to mix them all together (including EM) to harness the full power of all the organisms.

Is EM Organically Certified? -- OMRI Certified? 
EM is organic certified, but some explanation is needed.  Several versions (labels; only those where such certification is even needed, based upon application on the farm) of EM are certified as a suitable material certified for organic farming by  Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI).  A microbial culture such as EM cannot ever in itself be certified as organic, since it is not sold as a human foodstuff.  Rather, it can only be certified as a safe or suitable material for organic  farming.  By the way, the certification by OMRI automatically certifies that EM is non-GMO (non-genetically modified.)

These last three frequently asked questions (FAQs) are reproduced from the earlier section (on an earlier page) entitled "Debunking a Few EM Myths; A Brief FAQ", simply because they are apropos to the flora/culture section as well...... Enjoy!

Is the EM Formula For one Region Better than the EM for Another? 
There is indeed some variance in the exact EM formula and the organisms within it from region to region and vendor to vendor, as it uses primarily only native local flora indigenous to the region.  However, it appears to me that there is usually no essential difference in effectiveness of EM across regions or vendors.  Each contains primary organisms from the same three main groups of organisms, and each is effective. 

When Brewing Activated EM (aka EM Extension) is Low pH Really Important? 
Is it True that the Lower the pH, the Better my Batch of EM or Activated EM?

For use as a microbial inoculant 
For using Activated EM (aka EM Extension), it is NOT true that a really low pH, such as 3.7 or below, is important, or that a low pH means that the batch is better than another with a higher pH.  This is largely a myth, particularly as regards the viability of the microbial inoculant culture.  This myth got started in the USA about 10 years ago, and has been really hard to dispel.  It is simply not true.  Any batch of EM or Activated EM with a pH of 4.0 or below is likely fine to use as a microbial culture, so long as it is not too old, and pH should never be the main criteria by which the viability and useability of a batch of EM or AEM is judged.  Rather, appearance, smell (and taste, in many parts of the world!) are the primary means of gauging whether a batch is good (as well as a microscopic analysis for a more detailed examination....).  Having said that, it i smy own personal beleif that the lower the pH, at lesat down to the 3.3 or 3.2 range, the more powerful are certain properties of the eM ; this will be discussed later.

For use as an antioxidant or nutrient 
Please note that the discussion above applied primarily to use of EM as a microbial inoculant culture, as in starting bokashi, for feeding to animals, or for treating livestock drinking water, compost or soils, or, in other words, use a microbial inoculant or seed culture which will eventually spawn microbes which will release antioxidants.  On the other hand, if the intended use of Activated EM (aka AEM) is for use as an antioxidant or a nutrient, such as in the following uses:

  • room deodorizer spray
  • underarm deodorant
  • livestock barn deodorizer spray
  • deodorizer for smelly ponds
  • rust removal 
  • use as a nutritional antioxidant for livestock or human consumption
then it is true that the lower the pH, the stronger will be the concentration of antioxidants, as the lower-pH brews will have fermented longer, allowing a greater concentration of antioxidants. Further, stronger concentrations than the commonly-used 1:20 ratio of molasses to water will also allow stronger concentrations of antioxidants; I often use well-aged AEM-like concentrations as strong as 1:3 for certain applications where the antioxidant properties are important.

Is EM a Disinfectant? 
EM is not a disinfectant, but a microbial inoculant culture product.  While it may eventually help to displace harmful or non-beneficial microorganisms in many areas and applications, it is not true that it is a disinfectant. It will also often discourage fungal diseases of lawns (golf courses, etc.) such as Fusarium, in one or two treatments, but that simply means that it is doing it's job as a source of beneficial organisms and in promoting a healthier flora within the soil. It is a powerful deodorizer and rust remover, and it is possible that these properties led folks to believe that it was also a disinfectant.

It is also true that some commercially-available dental mouth care products, such as mouthwash and dental (tooth brushing) powder, contain EM organisms, and that lots of folks in many countries simply make their own such products from EM and related products.  However, this is once again NOT proof that EM is a disinfectant or antibiotic. Rather, in the case of dental or mouth care use, their presence is as that of a strong probiotic (beneficial organisms) to compete with harmful organisms, and because of the powerful antioxidant activity of the EM organisms. This myth about EM being a disinfectant apparently got started in the USA about 10 years ago, and has been really hard to dispel.  It is simply not true. 

It is true in many soil and water applications, and even when fermenting nutritonal supplements, that the presence and fermentation activity of EM organisms may strongly discourage the growth or proliferation of undesirable or harmful microorganisms, but this is merely a regulatory activity or entrainment property, and is not the same as disinfectant activity.

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Commercially-available EM-Fermented Antioxidant Nutritional Supplements for Humans

There are now several EM-fermented antioxidant nutritional suplement products (mostly liquid brews/beverages) available on the market, even in the Western world, and including the USA.  To see a full description of each of which I am aware, including availability, pricing,and where/how to get them, along with links to relevant vendor web pages, click here to go to the Related Fermented Products on the Market page at theAntiox Brew Website, at http://www.antioxbrew.com.

The author of this site is a degreed scientist with extensive training in the fields of health and well-being, a mystic and a healer, and the Antiox Brew website linked above contains a tremendous amount of information on a line of several fermented antioxidant nutritional supplement brews using a microbial culture derived from the Effective Microorganisms culture (aka EM-1 or EM1 or EM) which were direct-marketed on a very small scale at one point during early 2003 to friends and acquaintances under the brand names Sootheox and Quenchox.  To learn more about these custom-crafted nutritional supplement brews and some of their nutritional properties, including results of antioxidant tests from commercial third-party antioxidant testing laboratories (along with  some funny [but true] photos of the ability of such antioxidant supplements to remove rust from rusted iron), please see the Antiox Brew Website, at http://www.antioxbrew.com.


 
Looking for an E-mail List Group on EM and Health?

EM-health e-mail list group at Yahoo Groups 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EM-health/ 
This e-mail discussion group is devoted to the use of Effective Microorganisms (EM or EM-1) in human and animal health, and related topics such as their use in agriculture to produce food of higher quality, sometimes known as "beyond-organic" or "uber-organic".  There are already a number of EM fermented antioxidant nutritional supplements on the market, with more being developed every day. The list welcomes beginners, "consumer users" and also serious researchers. This list is moderated by Vinny Pinto, a researcher in the fields of EM1 and nutritional antioxidants, and a peak health consultant/coach. Vinny is a scientist and health researcher who has devoted a tremendous amount of time to research on EM and it's uses in health and healing, 
 


 
Discounted Sources for Ordering EM Products  
(EM culture, EM-X, EM Ceramics, etc.)  and  
EM Fermentation Supplies

If you are in the USA or nearby countries, and you wish to purchase EM products such as EM microbial inoculant culture, EM fermenting supplies, bokashi,  EM-X health beverage, EM Ceramics, EM Salt, or EM Soap, at a discounted price, please check out the two major vendors listed below:

EMRO USA 
EMRO USA is an EMRO licensee of EMRO Japan, and is located in Phoenix, Arizona. 
Discount: If you wish to earn a 5% discount on all products, please use the discount code VPEbook 
Order through James Harrison, who is an EMRO CEMP 
Website: http://www.emrousa.com 
Or contact James Harrison, who is an EMRO Certified EM Provider (CEMP), at: 
James Harrison's phone: 978-356-7440 (SA) 
e-mail: jharrison@cemp.emrousa.com

SCD World 
SCD World is a marketing outreach of Sustainable Community Development (SCD) in Kansas (in the USA), they also carry several lines of EM fermented antioxidant nutritional supplement beverages, as well as the complete Garden of Life line. 
Website:  http://www.scdworld.com 
phone:  913-541-9299 (USA) 
Discount:  If you wish to earn a 7% discount on all products, please use the discount code VP2004  
 


Are You an Intermediate or Advanced Brewer of Activated EM (AEM) or EM Brews Intended for Human Use, and Are You Looking for an Encyclopedic and Comprehensive Guide to Brewing Such Secondary EM Products?

The author of this sie, Vinny Pinto, has authored and published an encyclopedic guide and handbook which may help you in brewing high-quality EM fermented antioxidant secondary products for human, animal, agricultural, waste and industrial use, particularly Activated EM and EM brews for human and animal ingestion. Are you an intermediate or advanced user or technician working with EM, or do you wish to move to the advanced level with ease? This is an e-document in PDF file format containing both basic and advanced information, aimed only at the intermediate and advanced user, and including recipes, ingredients, methods and techniques, for brewing very-high quality batches of EM brews (for human use), Activated EM, aka AEM, EM Extended and EM Secondary Solution, and also hints on making very high quality fermented solid/granular products such as bokashi or EM-fermented grains for animal feed.  Also covers the topic of ormus elements in EM.  Content goes beyond what I have offered on my websites and on the list groups.

The book is entitled Fermentation with Syntropic Antioxidative Microbes: An Advanced Guide to Brewing EM Fermented Secondary Products -- an E-book and is available in both e-book and printed/bound format. For further information on this book and on other titles available from the same author (the creator of this website), please go to the E-books, Mini-E-books, Quick Tutorials and Newsletters page on Vinny's main website by clicking here. 
 

The Secrets of the Various Dilutions and Ratios:

Are the Dilutions (such as 1:1:100 or 1:1:1,000) as Powerful as Activated EM (at 1:1:20)?

How Long Do the Dilutions with Molasses Stay Potent and Viable?

Basics 
A molasses:culture:water ratio of 1:1:20 is quite standard nowadays for AEM around the world, but different ratios have been used as the norm at times. At one time in the USA, much AEM was made at a 1:1:10 ratio, and there seems to be a trend in Japan to use ratios in the 1:40 range rather than the 1:20 range which seems to be common for AEM in much of the rest of the world, even for batches of AEM made for many uses other than human nutritional use. Indeed, there is a commercially-available Active EM (AEM) automated fermenting machine (aka Activated EM Machine or Automatic Activated EM Machine) available via EMRO and affiliates in Japan which sells in the $3,000 price range, and normally employs an even more dilute ratio of EM1 and molasses to water .  It makes somewhere between about 25 to 45 gallons of AEM at a time (I forget the exact volume), and makes it at a (normally) preset ratio of 1:5:200 (1 part EM, 5 parts molasses, about 194 parts water), or, in some versons, 2:4:190.  The machine features automatic circulation of the fermenting fluid every 15 minutes, and ferments the mixture at 38 degrees C; the AEM usually takes 3 to 4 days to finish. The intended market for the Automatic Activated EM machine is farms, waste facilities and composting operations, which will usually use the AEM within a few days (while it is still potent as a microbial inoculant culture.) In general, any batch of AEM made at a higher dilution ratio than 1:35 (such as 1:40, 1:100, etc.)  must be used within hours or days of being mixed, and only  batches with a ratio of 1:35 or less will exhibit appreciable shelf life. 

Why Does My Activated EM Have an Effective Life of 30 Days, While EM Stock Culture is Claimed to Have a Useful Lifetime (Viability) of 6 Months? 
The above three questions were lumped together because they are intimately inter-related and their answers even moreso.  It is true that for various applications (animal water, spraying soil, compost or waste, etc.) varied dilutions of Activated EM are often used, either alone with water at ratios from 1:20 (Activated to Water) to 1:1,000 or more, or with molasses and water, again at ratios from 1:1:20 (Activated to Molaesses to Water) to perhaps 1:6,000 or more.  It is only natural that questions arise as to the stength of these dilutions, the lifetime, and also the shelf life of EM1 stock inoculant.

Here are some quick guidelines... 

EM or Activated EM (aka AEM)  may be mixed with water and molasses in almost any ratio from 1:1:1 to 1:1:10,000. However, any batch of AEM made at a higher dilution ratio than 1:35 (such as 1:40, 1:100, etc.)  must be used within hours or days of being mixed, and only  batches with a ratio of 1:35 or less will exhibit appreciable shelf life

In general, with little variance, the microbial strength (e.g., the count of organisms per unit volume) is very similar durng the viable (e.g. alive) stages for any dilutions discussed above. What does differ, and differs radically, is how long the solutions remain viable -- in other words, how long all three groups of organisms remain alive and effective. At the higher dilutions, such as 1:1: 1,000 or even 1:1:100, the shelf-life of the liquid will be rather short, and hence, the dilution culture solution it must be applied to orgnic materials rathe quickly,or it will be largely "dead". For example, a rough timetable of effective lifetime of dilutions appears below (all ratios express ratio of EM1 (or Activated EM) to molasses to water): 
 


RatioApprox. viable life-time
Notes
please note that under optimal conditions, the viable culture lifetime of the 1:20 and stronger mixtures may be fare longer, and under bad conditons, even shorter than those shown
1:1:10about 60+  days
1:1:20about 30 daysthis is the ratio we normally use for Activated EM, although we are free to use stronger concentrations
1:1:40about 15 days
1:1:60 about 10 days
1:1:80about 7 days
1:1:100about 6 days
1:1:200about 3 days
1:1:500about 1+ day

It is also true that some applications for Activated EM call for the Activated EM (AEM) to be diluted with only water (skippig the molasses), perhaps at a rate of 1:400 to 1:5,000 for various applications where it will be used immediately. In this case, since no additional molasses is added, there will be only very little reserve food left for the organisms -- basically, only any molasses as yet undigested from the AEM -- and thus the mixture must be applied to organic material (foodstuffs, waste, soil, etc.) within a day or less before the organisms start to go dormant and die from lack of food.  So for each of these dilution ratios, the shelf-life will be even far shorter than those given in the table above.

Well, looking at the above, we have already answered the first two questions, plus some, and we are well on our way to answering the final question, about the apparent 6-month shelf life of EM1 sotck culture....

The EM stock culture can claim an active shelf life of about 6 months for the following reasons: 

  • it is a first-generation (aka 1G) culture
  • the 1G culture was created from high-purity materials (water, molasses), and only pure starter strains
  • the 1G culture was brewed carefully under optimal and controlled conditions to ensure culture purity
  • the culture molasses used is almost always blackstrap molasses, which has less available simpel sugars, and is therefore, "slower and steadier"
  • due to the factors above and the extra foods (from the molasses) the lifetime of the stock solution can be 6 months (and sometimes longer, although this is never claimed by EMRO) 
In reality, your bottle of EM-1 stock inlculant culture may actualy be viable for up to two years after you purchase it, dependent upon how it was stored, etc. The 6-month expiration date stamped on your bottle by the EMRO folks is simply a very conservative estimate. 

About the Author

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Donations and Support 

This educational, public-service website has been totally self-supported by the author since it's inception in October 2000.  I have considered banner ads, paid text ads, and other commercial advertising means to help support this site, but, frankly, all offend me and would not be in keeping with the spirit of the community I intend to support.  Therfore, I am now actively asking  donations to help me to support this site -- even two dollars helps!  If you wish to donate, you may do so by using your credit card, ATM card, debit card, or transfer from your bank account, via fully secure means, using either Amazon Honor System or Paypal .  To make a donation, please go to the Donations and Support page !  All transactions are secure; in all cases, you get to choose the donation amount!

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