How to make fish hydrolysate fertilizer with papaya papain?

slc0(3-4)November 24, 2008

DIY Neptune's Harvest type fish fertilizer using papaya papain?

I was searching the web for information on making our own "cold processed" or enzymatic type fish fertilizer similar to Neptune's Harvest which I've had really REALLY good results with. We can not buy Neptune's Harvest locally and it is getting too expensive to buy and ship with the amount we are using. We just added a 28 tree orchard and are adding a small vineyard next season. I am seriously looking for a way to make my own.

Every year our neighbors catch lots of large salmon with buckets and buckets of "left overs", plus we also receive "gifts" of the flesh also but we do not like the taste of spawning fish and so it sits in our freezer.

I've found a reference to using papaya papain to digest fish, bones and all, to make fish hydrolysate. I cannot find any information on using the papain.

Anyone hear of this or have any thoughts about using papaya papain while using the "digesting in bucket" method?

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Sounds like a lot of work and mess. When I have fish and or their remains after cleaning, I just bury them in the soil - like the Indians used to do when growing corn. It rots quickly and the results are amazing!

The Garden Guy

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 5:17PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Sounds very interesting to me.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 10:15PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

My husband left fish leftovers in a large storage tub which filled with rain water It is a nasty smelling mess of yuk The stuff has begun to decompose of coarse.I think it has sat about a month.He wants me to use it as fertilizer but Im afraid since any of the store bought stuff burned my plants.
Once I left my bottle of fish emulsion outside my back door and the raccoons had a party with it that night!
Maybe if you contact the Papain producer they wil help you,Im assuming in Wisconsin you arent growing your own Papaya
Good Luck

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 9:49AM
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I came across the above link while searching for the same process you are. If you look about half way down you will see that they discribe it as basically griding the fish up to a paste.

You could likely get a big batch of leftovers from one of the fisheries off Lake Michigan and grind them yourself and bury them as Ron suggested above. This seems to be prefered over the drying method as the process causes the lose of the oils.

Maybe mix them with a good tea and a lot of char before burying them - it would decay them right in the ground and the microbes should take right over in the carbon as it would store the nutrients.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 10:30AM
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Ok, I'm sorry, but I just can't help it. "Fish Hydrolysate with Papaya Papain" sounds like a fancy appetizer at a catered event.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 2:12PM
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Gojo's DIY 'CEDHF':
(Cold Enzymatically Digested Hydrolyzed Fish)

  1. Weigh out equal amounts (1:1) of bycatch or edible whole fish to distilled water.
  2. Either dice and mince the fish or put it through a food processor, or a strong blender like a vita-mixer. You need to throughly process the fish into small pieces.
  3. Preheat an oven to 122 degrees F (50 degrees C)
  4. Lay the fish onto a baking tray, and try not to layer the fish if you can help it. Place the tray into the oven and bake the fish for 0.5-2 minutes, depending upon the quantity and size of fish chunks.[4][5]
    * It is possible to use a microwave instead of the oven, I can provide info if there is interest.

* Heating inactivates the endogenous enzymes (and microbes) which are on and in the fish. I want to control what enzymes and microbes are present.

* This step could be skipped and the 'endogenous enzyme activity [of the fish] alone'[6] can digest most of the fish. But I don't want unknown enzymes and microbes in the finished hydrolyzed fish so that's why I heat it.

  1. Cover the fish and let it cool. Then and add the fish, along with the distilled water into a strong blender like a vita-mixer and liquefy (5-10 minutes).
  2. Adjust the resulting 'fluid' to a ph of 5 using phosphoric acid (aka 'ph down'[7])
    * Because I am using a cold enzyme digestion process the ph needs to be low to prevent the gurry from putrefying[2].
    * From what I've been able to glean a ph of 4.5 is optimal to prevent putrefaction of gurry. But, a ph of 5 is optimal for papain enzyme action[8][9]. So, I chose a ph of 5 as this will speed the papain's digestion of the fish which will of course shorten the digestion time and reduce the chance (time wise) of the gurry putrefying.
    * Use of phosphoric acid is suggested when horticulture is the intended target and phosphoric acid acts as a stabilizer for the gurry[2].
    * Use the blender to fully mix the phosphoric acid when testing the ph.
  3. Add papain to gurry with an enzyme to fish (not gurry) ratio of 700-1,000 U to a gram of fish[5]
    * 'Papain'[10] and 'Alcalase'[11] are the two best known enzymes for digesting fish[5][6] and Alcalase will digest up to 95% of the fish[6]. But, Alcalase prefers a ph of 7-9[11] and it is expensive and hard to find. However, Papain also digests a large quantity of fish[6], but it's ideal ph is 5 and it is inexpensive and easy to find[12].
    * So, you will want to add about 1,000 U of papain per gram of fish product (not gurry). Each pill of 'Natural Brandâ„¢ Papaya Enzyme'[12] conatins 60,000 U of papain. I'll leave the math up the person making hydrolyzed fish following my directions...
    * Buy a pill splitter[13] (about $5.00) and you can split the papain pill into 4 or 6 pieces for greater accuracy. Though, it's better have too much enzyme than not enough.
    * Grind the papain pill/s into a fine powder, this will help disperse the papain throughout the fluid. I use a mortar and pestle[14] to pulverize my pills, you can get these at a pharmacy for around $10.00.
    * Use the blender to fully mix the papain with the fish liquid.
    * A 'U' is a 'USP unit'[15], which is also synonymous with 'IU' (international unit) [16].
  4. Place the gurry in cool location (ala refrigerator) between 35 and 38 degrees F (1.7 to 3.3 degrees C) for 4-6 weeks.
  5. Filter finished gurry through 100-400 micron screen. The Kis compost tea bag[17] is 400 micron and may work very well, and it's only $10.00.
  6. Use the 'CEDHF' lol
    * Check the ph, I bet it will be around 5-6, lower is better I would assume but I have no data on that...I'm still just feeling my way around...

Here is a link that might be useful: Wildlife Gardeners' Forum

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 3:05PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I don't understand the point of heating something to a modestly higher temp than summer air temp in Las Vegas for 30 seconds.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 10:42PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The adventures of a fellow traveler at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Roll your own

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 5:31PM
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Was curious as to how the hydrolysate fertilizer was coming along and if you had tried any other recipes. Ed spiess

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Here is how I made my fish hydrolysate fertilizer.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 12:55PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Check out the following link for some info that you might be able to use. I just skimmed it. The link is page 7 of 9 on the subject.

Note the suggestion for mixing it with BioChar (ground charcoal), which is an interesting idea. And it might help to keep the smell down, too.

Papain is the main ingredient in meat tenderizers (just in case you didn't know).


Here is a link that might be useful: Making fish fertilizer

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 3:08AM
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I notice that Adolph's Meat Tenderizer now uses a chemical extracted from pineapple rather than papaya, though perhaps it is the same chemical and just different origin (i.e., like woad and indigo dye).

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 1:44PM
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david52 Zone 6

Linked is a FAO article with some basic info on making fish silage. They're mostly after using it for an animal feed.

it might be work a read.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 4:07PM
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