We were inspired to write this post from a couple questions we received from customers who wanted to know the breakdown of the additional ingredients included in Mikrobs. In the process of receiving these questions, we realized many people are misinformed about what these additional ingredients do, how these ingredients affect the product, and how to interpret the relationship between the ingredients and the microbes included in a microbial product like ours. As such, we have created a mini Q&A that helps dispel certain myths and misconceptions about Mikrobs and thoroughly explains the role of these “other ingredients”!
This is a graph that breaks down the composition of each additional non-microbial ingredient included in Mikrobs. The graph offers an approximate representation of what is in Mikrobs. These ingredients add up to around 77.9% of the entire product. While we strive to be as transparent as possible, exact percentages of each ingredient are not something that we can reveal as they are an important trade secret. The precise configurations are critical to the performance of our product, these numbers can either make or break the formulaic success and effectiveness of our products.
If exact percentages are considered trade secrets, you may wonder why some other products reveal the “exact” percentages of every single one of their ingredients while we provide only a total percentage of inert ingredients. A frank answer would be that in many cases, companies tend to give you an approximate portrayal of their ingredient composition, as doing otherwise would be the equivalent of revealing their trade secret- the key component intimately tied to the performance and competitive edge of their product. These approximates are there to give you a general idea of what is included in the product as well as to set a certain expectation of what should result from the product when the product is used or tested. The decision to provide percentages of every single inert ingredient or as a total percentage is up to the manufacturer. However, most numbers you see are manipulated approximates. We would argue that our graph breakdown of our inert ingredients is probably a more accurate representation of what is included in the product.
While we cannot provide exact percentages, this graph should give you a better idea of what and how much a certain ingredient is included.
First of all, this is a misconception. Adding and subtracting “other ingredient” percentages to find out the inclusion of microbes is a very inaccurate approach to microbial products like Mikrobs. Having 77.9% versus 50% other ingredients does necessarily mean one product contains more microbial spores than the other. The only number that decides this factor is how many microbes are included per gram of the final product, which should be clearly stated on the label of any microbial product. This is the only number that you should be looking at when it comes to microbial inclusion.
To explain this in clearer terms, we need to go into how microbial products are produced. For example, if a product contains 77.9% other ingredients and wants to include 4x108 of a certain microbe, we first cultivate microbes at much higher concentration levels (e.g. 4x109). Then this significantly higher concentration of microbes is packed into the remaining percentage so that the final product itself contains 4x108 per gram. Consequently, when you see that a product contains 77.9% other ingredients, the remaining 22.1% is simply the carrier volume that contains the microbial content at significantly higher microbial concentrations (e.g. 4x109) so that the final number of microbial spores in the final product including other ingredients equals to 4x108 per gram as displayed on the label.
As such, the percentage of “other ingredients” does not determine microbial population, nor does it necessarily dilute it. Microbial products are scientifically processed in a way to include a certain number of microbes per gram as the final result, and these numbers are the numbers written on the label of the product.
You may have noted that we have not yet brought up microbial activity in our explanation of microbial inclusion. This is because microbial population does not always result in equal amounts of microbial activity. The effectiveness of microbes depends on number of spores, compatibility of microbial makeup, as well as survivability of microbes. The exact percentage of “other ingredients” are manipulated in order to improve these microbial outcomes. Our exact formulation of microbes and additional ingredients is what gives our microbes so much life and success.
While we cannot speak to how accurately numbers are represented on other products, it is standard in the industry to state a smaller percentage number than the actual percentage when it comes to the representation of ‘other ingredients’ composition. This happens for a couple reasons. The first reason is a point we brought up earlier- exact percentage compositions are what makes each formula unique, and thus trade secrets. The second reason is that when giving an approximate representation of ingredient makeup, manufacturers tend to go with the minimum amount of the ingredient that would be required to be able to suitably verify the inclusion of a certain ingredient in the product.
Another important aspect of our product is that this product is an OMRI-certified product. In order to get a product registered with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), manufacturers are required to provide an accurate representation of all active and inert ingredients included in the product. In other words, the total percentage of inert ingredients on our labels are all necessarily precise.
Either way, it is important to understand that high inclusions of “other ingredients” is not something to be wary of or to avoid. In fact, we make a case that sufficient inclusions of additional ingredients are necessary and actually very beneficial for the soil, plants, and microbes when formulated just right!
There are several reasons why we consider these additional ingredients to be crucial to the success of our product. First of all, hefty inclusions of additional ingredients strengthen the soil enhancement ability of Mikrobs. These ingredients provide nutrients for the soil, and along with the microbes, are able to have permanent effects on soil improvement and regeneration. Other microbial products that either include just microbes or small quantities of other ingredients have narrower focuses that mainly perform on specific targets (e.g. nutrient uptake, fixed nutrient solubilization, etc.). In contrast, Mikrobs has a broader target with a functional focus on soil enhancement on top of operating on plants, bringing about synergistic, longer-lasting results. Mikrobs operates with the whole growing process and growing environment in mind, rather than with an acute focus that targets a certain element of the growing process. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, our additional ingredients are key to the survivability of microbes, and consequently, the resulting microbial activity and effectiveness. A good portion of the ingredients in the blend serves as nutrients for microbes, helping ensure their survival and prosperity. Abundant and varied inclusions of additional ingredients means that there are plentiful amounts being distributed across 1) the soil, for soil enhancement, 2) the plant/root, for plant/root health and growth, and 3) the microbes, for microbial survival and prosperity.
All in all, in our microbial superpack Mikrobs, if you were to take out all the microbes, there are enough rich ingredients in the product for it to be a standalone soil amendment product. This speaks to the quality of the blend- why our product is so successful in its well-rounded ability to amend soil and why the microbes in our product are able to thrive.
And thus we conclude our mini Q&A on this topic! We hope you found this session informative and helpful. As always, if you have any lingering questions, please send us inquiries through our contact form. You can check out Mikrobs here: Click Here
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