Almost every aquatics industry professional has likely heard stories about the use of enzymes in water maintenance and for solving water quality problems. Many have also probably asked themselves along the way what, exactly, are enzymes? In performing a quick Google search on the word itself, one would likely come across the following Wikipedia answer:

Enzymes are large biological molecules responsible for the thousands of chemical interconversions that sustain life. They are highly selective catalysts, greatly accelerating both the rate and specificity of metabolic reactions from the digestion of food to the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Most enzymes are proteins, although some catalytic ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules have been identified. Enzymes[2] adopt a specific three-dimensional structure, and may employ organic (e.g. biotin [vitamin H or coenzyme R]) and inorganic (e.g. magnesium ion) cofactors to assist in catalysis.

If this description seems a bit confusing, do not be alarmed. After scrolling down a little further, and conducting a web query on what enzymes really do, one can actually yield a much more simple description. For example:

In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process, called substrates, are converted into different molecules, called products. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates sufficient for life. Since enzymes are selective for their substrates and speed up only a few reactions from among many possibilities, the set of enzymes made in a cell[3] determines which metabolic pathways occur in that cell.

By Pool and Spa Marketing