Science & Technology

The Science Behind PDP

We apply food science, microbiology, biochemistry, and fermentation technologies as the main tools to perfect our Progressive Digestion Process.

The Progressive Digestion Process (PDP) is an environmentally responsible technology that bridges the gap between industrial food waste and nutritious organic fertilizers in just 21 days.

PDP harnesses the natural microbial and enzymatic digestion of organic inputs to break down raw materials while creating biological heat, eliminating harmful pathogens in the process.

This digestion is achieved without adding any outside inoculum or external heat to kill pathogens.

lab 1

Everything we do at AgroThrive is grounded in good science and technology! We apply food science, microbiology, biochemistry, fermentation technologies, and food engineering as main bodies of knowledge to run, control, and perfect the Progressive Digestion Process. PDP is the technology specifically developed for production of AgroThrive bio-fertilizers.

We partner with local colleges, universities, USDA extension programs, and our growers to continually study the nutritional, biological and environmental effects of AgroThrive on local crops. This enables the perfecting and expanding of the science behind PDP.

Our scientists use respirometry, genetic analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and statistical analysis to study, record, and interpret the effects of our organic fertilizers on crops. The practical result of this is our uncompromising dedication to science and innovation to provide the best products and services to our customers.

Other driving influences include; applying soil science, greenhouse technologies, and field trial planning and execution to collect data.

lab 2

The key to a healthy root system starts with the soil, and the key to a healthy soil is having a soil rich with beneficial microbes. 

Lack of balanced nutrition and beneficial microbes in soil results in stressed plants, which attract pathogens and predatory insects.

In order to grow healthy, stress free plants, it is critical to understand what is happening in the rhizosphere. The rhizosphere is the tiny layer between the roots and soil, where all interaction between microbes and plants take place. 

If a plant has beneficial microbes on the surface of the roots and root hairs, as well as inside the plant, it is very difficult for pathogens to set up shop in the root zone and infiltrate the plant. 

The beneficial bacteria produce plant growth hormones and chemicals that help plants overcome stress from droughts, high temperatures, high salinity, solubilization of heavy metals, and so much more through competitive inhibition.

These scanning electron micrographs of 6-week old cauliflower plantlets grown with AgroThrive organic bio-fertilizer (left)  vs. a 6-25-25 Chemical fertilizer (right) show exactly what plant health really means, and why plants need more than just NPK.

AgroThrive Root Hairs

Stimulating Root Growth

Under a microscope one can witness the magic of AgroThrive.

Comparing our General Purpose fertilizer (left) with a chemical fertilizer (right), it is clear that AgroThrive increased the density and length of root hairs on this 6-week old cauliflower rootlet. An increased density and length of roots hairs means there is more surface area for the plant to absorb nutrients and water than a plant with little or less density of root hairs.

Plant Protection From the Inside

This cross section shows a significant increase in microbial presence inside the phloem cells (AgroThrive, left) compared to the chemical fertilizer (right).

The nutrients from the photosynthetic leaves travel through the phloem cells down to the root zone to feed and attract more beneficial microbes that help feed and protect the plant.

These microbes help with plant protection, nutrient conversion, and corresponding nutrient absorption by plants. Pathogens may have a much easier time colonizing the plant on the right as the phloem cells look like empty tubes, whereas they would have to fight though all of those beneficial microbes in the plant on the left hand side to establish a base to expand.

Plant Protection From the Surface

This micrograph shows a significant increase in microbial presence on the surface of the roots (AgroThrive, left) compared to the chemical fertilizer (right). A higher presence of beneficial microbes provides competitive inhibition of pathogens, while assisting with nutrient conversion, and corresponding nutrient absorption by plants.


Under the microscope, we still see consistent presence of beneficial microbes in AgroThrive after 9 years.

AgroThrive stability
Figure 3

AgroThrive liquid organic fertilizers evoke strong microbial activity in soil. We measure mL of oxygen absorbed by 100g of soil over a span of a few days to see how much our products evoke respiration in soil compared to other bio-stimulants on the market. Not only does AgroThrive stimulate the soil more than anything else we’ve measured as soon as it is applied, but users get pre-digested nutrients that come with it as well!


Microbes help with the nutrient release and corresponding nutrient absorption by plants. As a result, young plants experience vigorous root growth that leads to better growth of foliage, followed by better disease resistance, and better yields. Older plants benefit from increased nutrient release resulting in better quality and/or increased yields. Therefore, AgroThrive products contribute to a better bottom line due to lower fertilizer and pesticide use.

For more information on the science & technology at AgroThrive, please contact us.

Nutritious Ingredients

AgroThrive organic fertilizers are made of high protein inedibles from fish filleting operations that may otherwise end up in landfills and destroy our environment.

We combine these animal-based protein sources with corn steep liquor, a nutritious source of plant-based proteins to give our end products a wider array of nutrients than your average fish emulsion or organic fertilizer blend.

Rather than simply blending these ingredients together, we put it through our proprietary Progressive Digestion Process (PDP) to break down the nutrients to a simple form where plants can absorb them rapidly. This process is the reason why users can see results in less than a week after applying!