The barrier in ColdZyme® consists of a transparent liquid solution including glycerol and enzymes from deep-sea cod. The main mechanism of action of the barrier is based on its ability to generate an osmotically active viscous solution (barrier or film) on the mucous membrane in the mouth/throat that adsorbs fluid. This fluid contains viruses. When applied to the mouth/throat, as in the case of ColdZyme, the viral presence declines, thereby facilitating a faster natural recovery from the common cold.
A sub-component of the effective barrier is the enzyme extracted from deep-sea cod. The enzyme from deep-sea cod is a cold-adapted trypsin that has evolved to be active at a temperature of around 4°C. As a result of this adaptation to the cold, this type of enzyme becomes more effective upon exposure to the temperature of the human body, which causes the catalytic activity to be many times higher than in the corresponding human enzyme.
All enzymes are proteins. Enzymes that are responsible for breaking down other proteins, such as meat in food, will therefore quickly break down themselves if they are mixed in a solution. Trypsins from deep-sea cod are also able to break themselves down, which quickly renders them ineffective. There is extensive research behind the technology for stabilizing the enzymes in ColdZyme so that they do not break themselves down, but actually have a unique shelf life of three years at room temperature. The Icelandic company Zymetech, which Enzymatica acquired in 2016, developed this barrier technology which has this enzyme-stabilizing effect.