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EM-1: Used on 5+ million acres worldwide.

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Discover the Science Behind EM®
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Discover the Science Behind EM®

EM® stands for Effective Microorganisms®, a range of microbial-based products pioneered by the distinguished Japanese scientist Prof. Dr. Teruo Higa. At the heart of this innovation lies EM-1®, a liquid probiotic consisting of three essential groups of beneficial microbes: Yeast, Photosynthetic Bacteria, and Lactic Acid Bacteria.

What sets EM-1® apart is its ability to collaborate harmoniously with local and native beneficial microbes, fostering a symbiotic relationship among microorganisms and larger life forms such as insects and worms.

By fostering this synergy, EM-1® contributes to an increased abundance and diversity of microbes in the soil. It accelerates crucial chemical processes like organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. These processes are vital; they ensure that nutrients are transformed into plant-available forms, significantly benefiting crop growth and development.

Behind EM-1® stands EMRO, the pioneering company that has led the charge in plant-friendly probiotics and fermentation since the 1960s. Our dedication to excellence and commitment to natural, sustainable solutions have been the cornerstone of our success. We invite you to watch the video below to see the many ways that EM can benefit your everyday life.

The substantial benefits of Effective Microorganisms® have been tested and verified through numerous studies world wide in all environments from soil, plants and water to intestinal tracts of humans and animals.



  • Restore the diversity and balance of the community of microorganisms need for healthy fertile soil.
  • Improve seed germination and root development
  • Increase nutrient availability by making nutrients more bioavailable
  • Improve plant quality, size, color and shelf life
  • Accelerate conversion of organic matter into soil humus




  • Eliminate foul odors in compost, wastewater, or animal houses
  • Improve water quality in all aquatic environments
  • Reduces the need for chemical inputs such as chemical fertilizers
  • EM-1 reduces CO2 output




  • Improve the digestive system and gut microflora
  • Help supply bioavailable nutrients to the body
  • Support growth of other beneficial microbes in the digestive system
  • Supply enzymes, vitamins and other compounds to aid digestion
  • Boost the immune system
  • Increase your energy




  • Increase digestive system health in all animals
  • Improve the microflora in living areas
  • Decrease or eliminate foul odors produced by urine and manure
  • Reduce pathogens such as salmonella from litter and barns
  • Improve the immune system, reducing disease and stress
  • Accelerate the decomposition of manure into nutrient-rich compost



EM Technology® was "discovered" and developed by Professor Dr. Teruo Higa while he was a professor of horticulture at the College of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. He became ill from his exposure to chemicals before he turned 30 which moved him to find an natural solution for helping farmers improve their yields. Prior to that, Dr. Higa was a proponent of conventional agriculture and worked on the development of synthetic agricultural products. Having grown up around farming, he knew that farmers were left at the mercy of the chemical companies that supplied them with increasingly expensive inputs. He decided to find a natural method through the use of beneficial microorganisms that would help relieve the farmers of their chemical dependencies.

dr-higa-youngIn the mid-late 1960’s, microorganisms were being studied around the world for various applications. Most of that research was on single strains of microbes using single inoculations. Dr. Higa decided to study combined cultures first to find which ones would co-exist. He used only non-pathogenic, facultative (work with and without air) microbes for his experiments.

A mixture he had thrown on a patch of grass before leaving for a school vacation was eventually to become what we know as EM-1®. Upon returning from vacation he noticed the area where he had thrown the “waste” product had grown considerably. He reviewed his notes and re-mixed his concoction.


Through years of experimentation he discovered the optimal combination of microbes and named the combination “EM®”, an acronym for “Effective Microorganisms®”.

Dr. Higa started his development of EM·1® in 1968. His work pioneered the use of multiple strains of microbes in a cocktail combined with multiple applications. The first batch on the market under the trade name “EM®” was sold in Japan in 1982.


A unique part of the development of EM-1® are the EM® Principles created by Dr. Higa. He noticed that the microbes in EM-1®, which were not believed to live together in the wild, were able to survive in the culture. He found the microbes were able to co-exist, co-prosper, exchange information, were sustainable, safe, effective and in service of each other. From his observation, he concluded that humans needed to learn from these microbes. All of those involved with this technology are expected to follow these principles because, without them, the pieces would fall apart. Dr. Higa coined the term "syntropy" to describe this phenomenon where all the tenets of the EM® Principles are intertwined.

We invite you to read Dr. Higa's books that are available in English (and several other languages) to develop your own understanding of this incredible technology that Dr. Higa calls "A gift to humanity".

Developments continue as experiments and research with Effective Microorganisms® are conducted by companies such as TeraGanix, EM Research Organization, APNAN, and several other entities that are licensed by EM Research Organization to sell Effective Microorganisms® products around the world.



Today Effective Microorganisms® products are sold in over 120 countries and produced in over 60 facilities. The manufacturing plant in Tucson, Arizona produces EM-1® Microbial Inoculant and PRO EM-1® Probiotic for the United States and Canada.

EM-1® Microbial Inoculant is all-natural, non genetically modified (Non GMO), and approved for certified organic production under the new USDA program (OMRI Listed). The use of EM Technology® has broadened in the last two decades from agriculture to water treatment, odor control, animal husbandry, human health, and numerous other industrial treatments.



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