new world of
The way nature does it
Take a closer look at just how powerful our microbial neighbors can be.
Microbes, our invisible neighbors, have been discovered on every surface that humans have sampled, and each microbe plays a critical role that humanity has benefited from immensely. Unfortunately, fear of this invisible world, has instilled a mindset of ‘disinfect and sterilize everything first then ask questions later’. It is fair to say that this mindset is not without validation, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and other microbial related healthcare incidents. However, as we become more aware of the delicate interplay between microbes and humans, data suggests that health-related issues can arise when this relationship is disrupted or altered. We are learning that disinfection or the use of kill-based cleaning chemistry is not always the solution.
There is a time and a place for targeted hygiene. As we increase our knowledge of these learnings, it is time to think differently about our cleaning products and start thinking about ways to clean effectively, but not at the expense of our well-being. The future of cleaning is one where sustainable solutions work with the microbes in our lives instead of against them. After all, microbes have been involved in cleaning our planet for a very long time. At Novozymes, we believe that biology can deliver effective and innovative cleaning solutions, we just need to discover them and unlock their potential. This is no simple task because formulating effective microbe containing cleaning products must balance chemical efficacy, with that of microbial efficacy. However, when the proper combination of chemistry is achieved, the potential for delivering a safe dose of safe microbes that can remain behind after wiping and reside in areas where traditional chemistries will not have an effect, increases.
Here we show that it is indeed possible to formulate with microbes in mind and that it is possible to have a stable and efficacious product. Further, we show that microbes can respond to natural soils found in the built environment and even act as a surface shield waiting for the right time to respond. Microbes have lived alongside us for a very long time, and they are powerful and useful. It is time for us to open our doors to these invisible neighbors and see just how powerful they can be.
Originally presented at HCPA: New Horizons Awakening 2021.