Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth: How is it Formed?

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is formed by Diatoms absorbing the mineral content within a water body to form a shell around their cell membrane.  These diatoms in this particular case absorbed a high amount of silica and low amount of metals within this particular body of water in the Reno, NV region of the United States.  Over millions of years, these diatoms build up on top of each other forming a huge fossilized deposit.  Literally, these diatoms were formed when dinosaurs roamed the earth!  Now the diatom itself is a particular one called the Aulacoseira diatoms created in the Miocene Epoch

The shell formed around the diatom’s cell is considered to be primarily amorphous silica.  Its shape and hardness have everything to do with how it works.  It hardness keeps it from dissolving like other hard minerals.  The diatom’s tubular shape and holes along the diatom’s wall allow it to absorb moisture, hence its use as an anti-caking agent!  The tubular shape of the diatom gives it more surface area than other shaped diatoms and this means it has greater absorptive capacity with the holes that open to the center.  This allows the diatom to absorb unwanted fungus and bacteria within the gut!   Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth does not swell in the stomach and has no physical or chemical capability to absorb nutrients, medicines, or herbs.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is almost all silica at 89% and is pure white to off-white in color, showing its purity.  There are other mines of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth here in the US and world.  You will find that those other mines have a product that is almost grey or red in color since it has a higher amount of metals like iron or even clays that are not meant to be ingested.  Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is OMRI organic and is Generally Regarded as Safe (G.R.A.S.) for human consumption by the USDA and FDA.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is Not Sand or Glass

picture of our diatoms under a microscope

The most common thing in the sand is crystalline silica and is usually in the form of quartz, which, because of its hardness, really does not weather through millions of years.  Many mines of diatomaceous are not rated food grade because of the high amount of quartz or crystalline silica found within its diatoms.  Crystalline silica is not meant to ingest and will cause problems if animals or humans eat it.  Amorphous silica is better for ingestion and found that some of the silica can be absorbed into the blood stream to help with silica supplementation with humans or animals.  Beach sand is mostly made of a varying weathered material from inland rocks and transported to the beach via wind, rain, rivers, and or shells and other hard parts precipitated out of the ocean water by marine organisms.  Quartz is the main component of glass making and crystalline silica or quartz will make a clear and hard glass.  Quartz is a hard and white or colorless mineral consisting of silicon dioxide, found widely in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.  It is often colored by impurities (as in amethyst, or citrine)

Fresh Water vs Salt Water Diatomaceous Earth

picture of a fresh water diatomaceous earth mine

Fresh water deposits like ours have a consistent diatom presence.  Their fossilized shells have maintained their tubular structure.  This shape and strength of the fossil shell are critical to its effectiveness.  Our deposit has 89-92% amorphous silica content.  This deposit is also more consistent in its purity.  A fresh water deposit in the mountains, such as ours, formed when snow was pure and its run off provided the water source these diatoms lived in.  Salt water deposits contain a mix of types of diatoms of different shapes.  Their fossilized shells are fragile and break easily.  This renders them ineffective for our purposes and down right dangerous to ingest.  The salt water deposits are less predictable in their sediments due to their open environment.

Whats the Difference Between Amorphous and Crystalline Silica

Amorphous silica is silica in its naturally occurring state.  It is a trace mineral every mammal on the planet needs to live.  Diatoms are found in all water sources and are the main food for aquatic life.  Diatomaceous Earth becomes crystalline when it is exposed to extreme temperatures by manufacturing means and in minute amounts through naturally occurring extreme heat such as volcanic activity.  The type of diatomaceous earth used in swimming pool and other filtration systems is crystalline silica that has been heated naturally or by man to make it crystalline.  Crystalline silica is extremely dangerous when inhaled or ingested.  IT IS NOT BIODEGRADABLE!!!

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth in Conclusion

In conclusion, we ask that you give us a call at 1-800-228-5836 or direct yourself, by clicking here, to our About DE pages of our website for more useful information on how to incorporate this product to your everyday life!  We are here to help you in your journey to learn more about this product and thank you for taking the time to read and understand it more!

Andrew Hemmer

Sales Manager


Content created by Hemmer Media Consulting