A commonly misunderstood fact is that it is actually the water that performs the breakdown during the Aquamation process, not the alkali.
A hydrolysis reaction is any type of reaction where bonds are cleaved by the insertion of water molecules. With alkaline hydrolysis, a base is added to water to create an alkaline environment. This changes the behavior of the water molecules, causing them to dissociate into hydrogen and hydroxide ions. The solution is only 5% alkali; 95% is water. Equally important to the process are the physical characteristics of the system (design), the continuous flow of the solution, and the heat. This all relates to collision theory and the rate and completeness of a reaction.
What happens in the process is most pets are 80% water to being with, along with fat, protein, minerals, and carbohydrates. During the process, fats are reduced to salts, protein to amino acids and small peptides (which are groups of a few amino acids), and carbs are reduced to sugars. The process breaks all organic materials into their most basic building blocks, so small that no trace of protein or nucleic acids (DNA/RNA) remain. The organics are dissolved into the water, which consists of 96% water and 4% amino acids, sugars, and salts by weight.