EM•1 Microbial Inoculant
(EM: Effective Microorganisms)

EM•1 is the liquid containing the three groups of microbes that define EM, Effective Microorganisms. The species of microbes listed in each group below are for the U.S. version of EM•1 (see The microbes in EM, PDF 1 page, 10/30/2010). In other countries, the species may differ, but the three groups should be represented.

  • Lactic acid bacteria — the same ones found in sauerkraut, yogurt, sourdough bread: 
    Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Bacillus subtilis.
  • Yeast — the same one used by bakers, and beer and wine brewers:
    Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
  • Phototrophic bacteria — a natural detoxifier found in soil and water, and found in worm castings:
    Rhodopseudomonas palustris.

Where to get EM•1: The national distributor for the U.S. is TeraGanix, Inc. You can buy it from them at teraganix.com or from one of their resellers listed on their website — the list may not be up-to-date, in which case you can call or email them or do a search for the following product names. 

EM•1 under different names:

  • EM•1 Microbial Inoculant
  • EM•1 Waste Treatment
  • EM•1 Septic Treatment
  • TeraGanix EM-1 Plant Growth, Microbial Inoculant Concentrate
  • TeraGanix Compost Accelerator, Liquid Compost Starter Concentrate / Compost Activator

Quantity sizes available: 

  • 16 fl oz (1/2 quart) bottle
  • 32 fl oz (1 quart) bottle
  • 1 gallon jug
  • 5-gallon cubitainer (soft plastic cube-shaped container in a heavy-duty cardboard box)
  • 55-gallon drum
  • 275-gallon tote.

In the following Table 1, the amounts of bokashi produced are based on the 1:1:100 ratio, that is, 1 part EM•1 : 1 part blackstrap molasses : 100 parts water.

Table 1. How much bokashi sprinkle can be made by how much EM•1
Quantity of EM•1Can produce amount (lbs) of 
wheat bran bokashi sprinkle
Can treat up to 
amount in lbs
of food waste
or amount in tons
of food waste
16 fl oz (1/2 qt)200 lbs6,600 lbs3.3 tons
32 fl oz (1 qt)400 lbs13,200 lbs6.6 tons
1 gallon (128 fl oz)1600 lbs52,800 lbs26.4 tons
5-gallon (640 fl oz)8000 lbs264,000 lbs132 tons

In the following Table 2, the amounts of Activated EM produced are based on the 1:1:20 ratio, that is, 1 part EM•1 : 1 part blackstrap molasses : 20 parts total volume of the bottle (see How to Make Activated EM under Materials).

Table 2. How much Activate EM (bokashi spray) can be made by how much EM•1
Quantity of EM•1Can produce this amount of Activated EM (bokashi spray)in gallonsCan treat up to this amount in lbs of food waste sprayed at 8 fl oz/33 lbsamount in tons of food wasteCan water plants with Activated EM if at 1 fl oz/gallon of water
16 fl oz (1/2 qt)320 fl oz2.5 gal.1,320 lbs0.66 ton320 gallons
32 fl oz (1 qt)640 fl oz5 gal.2,640 lbs1.32 ton640 gallons
1 gallon (128 fl oz)2,560 fl oz20 gal.10,560 lbs5.28 tons2,560 gallons
5-gallon (640 fl oz)12,800 fl oz100 gal.52,800 lbs26.4 tons12,800 gallons

Availability outside of the U.S.: for Canada, look for Sold by TeraGanix in Amazon Canada (amazon.ca); for Hawaii, visit emhawaii.com; for other countries, see Find Your Local on emrojapan.com.
Note. This website is not affiliated with TeraGanix, EM Hawaii, EM Research Organization, EMRO, nor EMROUSA.