Thursday, March 4, 2010

Orange Enzyme

What does one do with all the oranges after Chinese New Year? A whole household could not possibly finish them before they rot. When the citrus' skin turned all wrinkly and spotty dots started to overcome most of it I resolved to not waste these few kilograms of CNY abundance.

Armed with my trusty large measuring cup (measures 1 litre or 1000 ml), some brown sugar and a large air-tight plastic container, I sliced the oranges up. Into a very large container, I poured 10 litres of water and stirred in 1 litre of brown sugar. I stuffed the oranges into the measuring cup to get 3 litres and mixed them into the sugared water. The lid is replaced on the container and closed tightly.

What happens now is I'll leave the container and its contents in a dark (and dry) corner that's out of the way. The fermentation process will produce gas in the first month so I'll need to release the gases every day for 30 days.

If you're interested in making your own enzyme, here's how :

Brown Sugar
Fresh Kitchen Waste (Fruit and Vegetable dregs only)

Step 1 : 10 Parts Water
Fill up 60% of a large container with water.

Step 2 : 1 Part Sugar
Add in sugar that is equivalent to 10% of the water content.

Step 3 : 3 Parts Kitchen Waste
Add in fruits/vegs that is equivalent to 30% of the water content.

Step 4 : Close Tight
Keep for minimum 3 months. Open daily to release gases for the first month.
Note : 
> Do not use glass/metal container that cannot expand. 
> For the garbage, do not use paper, plastic, metal or glass materials; cooked food like fish or meat may not be used.
> Ideal colour of the enzyme is dark brown (after 3 months).
> Do not fret if there is a white/black/brown layer on the top - the fermentation process will resolve it.
> Should you encounter worms in your enzyme during the fermentation process, add in a few tablespoons of brown sugar and the worms will  be gone the next day (to avoid this, ensure your container is air-tight).
> The enzyme is best after 6 months of fermentation.
> Garbage enzyme does not expire, it can be kept for a long, long time (do not store in fridge).

As I bake quite a bit, I find that the enzyme is really good to remove residual oil on my utensils and bowls (don't you just loathe cleaning up?). The butter/oil comes off easily. Another use for the enzyme which I simply love is that I can soak my vegetables (ratio is 1 tbsp : 500ml water) to wash off any remnants of pesticide! Isn't that wonderful?

Just today I mopped the house tiles with half a bucket of water mixed with a few tablespoons of enzyme (no added floor cleaner or detergent). Result : an eco-friendly insect repelling solution + clean tiles. Clumsy me, I sometimes drop bits of gumpaste onto my kitchen floor when I do my figures and end up walking around the kitchen leaving marks of hardened sugar on the ground. The enzyme solution effortlessly mopped this residue up.

Multiple Usage
Natural household cleaner; Air purifier; Deodoriser; Insecticide; Detergent; Body care; Car care; Organic fertiliser; Anti bacterial for homes, etc.

Reduce Pollution
Methane gas released from disposed garbage can trap 21 times more heat than CO2, contributing to global warming

Dish Wash = 1 part enzyme : 10 parts water
Wash Vegetables = 2 tbsp : 1 litre water
Floor Cleaning = 2 tbsp : 1/2 bucket of water

I've made an apple enzyme before but this orange enzyme smells incredible so far. Apart from reducing heavy metal (no, I don't mean AC/DC) that is trapped in the clouds, making your own enzyme from kitchen waste catalyses the release of ozone gas that reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Save our earth and give it a go, let me know how yours turns out.

Garbage enzyme is developed by Dr. Rosukan from Thailand in the hopes of easing global warming.

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