Fighting food waste one citrusy cleaner at a time, with EcoEnzyme!

Singapore Green Plan
Singapore Green Plan
4 min readFeb 8, 2024

It is the year 2020. While learning how to make kombucha, Ana Zeng finds out about eco-enzymes, a substance that seemingly intersects the worlds of alchemy and fermentation. She would then make it her personal mission to learn more about eco-enzymes and share about their benefits.

EcoEnzyme Workshop with Youth Corp at GUILD in June 2023. Ana is in yellow! Image Credit: EcoEnzyme Learning Studio

Eco-enzymes impressed Ana with their ability to enrich the soil of her homegrown plants. Ana recalls the first potatoes she grew in soil nourished with eco-enzymes “tasting like chestnuts” — sweet and flavourful.

This newfound connection with natural resources motivated her to go back to school to pursue a Masters of Science in Biodiversity Conservation and Nature Based Climate Solutions so that she could further dedicate herself to the study of eco-enzymes, and that led her to starting EcoEnzyme Learning Studio.

But first…

What are eco-enzymes?

Eco-enzymes are citrus-smelling liquids made by fermenting 3 parts fruit and vegetable waste, 1 part brown sugar, and 10 parts water, and sealing them in a container for 3 months. The microbes produce many beneficial nutrients like acid, biofilm, and pitera, that help remove odour and oil.

Eco-enzymes, bottled. Image Credit: EcoEnzyme Learning Studio

This type of fermentation is similar to composting, but with a difference. While eco-enzymes can also be used like compost to grow plants and strengthen plant roots, eco-enzymes can be used for much more! The organic acids and microbes produced by fermentation also make eco-enzymes useful in household cleaning.

EcoEnzyme outreach event at Chingay@Heartlands, organised by Our Green MoCA. Image credit: EcoEnzyme Learning Studio

Reducing food waste.. by making cleaning solution!

When asked about how she promotes eco-enzymes to Singaporeans, Ana responds, laughing: “Singaporeans are very pragmatic”. That’s why EcoEnzyme Learning Studio focuses on the practical: showing people that eco-enzymes can reduce the amount of food waste in homes, and makes useful cleaning solutions, be it detergent or floor cleaner. It is even more effective when diluted with conventional soaps, enhancing its cleaning power even further. Not only is it more effective at removing grease and dirt — the pitera and natural, organic acids found in eco-enzymes make it less harsh on the skin — a huge plus for those with sensitive skin!

Ana letting participants try eco-enzyme detergent at SW CDC Cleanup! in 2022. Image Credit: EcoEnzyme Learning Studio

Ana often uses pop-up booths at green events and festivals as an opportunity to share more about eco-enzymes with the public. As most people are still largely unfamiliar with them, Ana makes it a point to give out free samples to those who visit her booth.

Volunteers of EcoEnzyme Learning Studio in action at Macpherson Eco Day @ Macpherson MRT. Image credit: EcoEnzyme Learning Studio

Ana also holds workshops to impart her knowledge about eco enzymes. Students have fun learning the science behind fruit peel fermentation, while the elderly and homemakers find out how eco-enzymes can address their concerns about excessive food waste, saving money, cleanliness, and skincare. Ana’s workshops are well received, with most participants continuing to make their own eco-enzymes from home and wanting to learn more about its properties.

Ana is thankful for the support she has received from SG Eco Fund, which offered financial support to offset logistical and operational costs and makes the pop-ups and workshops possible.

Student participants at a workshop held in School. Image Credit: EcoEnzyme Learning Studio

As of 2 August 2023, EcoEnzyme Learning Studio has successfully diverted 685kg of fruit waste from the landfill. They have also conducted 11 physical pop-ups, and held 27 workshops.

Workshop for participants at People’s Association at Tampines North CC. Image Credit: EcoEnzyme Learning Studio

A lot of logistical planning is required to make this initiative a success. For example, Ana recalls scouting for mineral water bottles from convention halls that she can wash and repurpose to bottle the eco-enzyme. EcoEnzyme Learning Studio is also a one-woman show, with the occasional volunteer who joins on an ad-hoc basis.

If you’re interested in learning more about eco-enzymes, Ana can be reached through the website or telegram channel. The latter is where she directly answers questions about the eco-enzyme fermentation process. Reach out, and create a healthier home today!

#SGEcoFund #SGGreenPlan



Singapore Green Plan
Singapore Green Plan

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