Instructors Abby Snyder and Colin Day recently participated in Science Night for Geneva City School District in New York. They saw over 350 people and presented a soy lecithin ink lesson, connecting it to the principle of emulsification. Emulsification relates to food processing, so salad dressing was also involved. Soybeans are amazingly versatile!
Typical printing inks contain petroleum, a non-renewable resource. To make soy ink, soybean oil is slightly refined and then blended with pigment, resins and waxes. Soybean oil is naturally clearer than petroleum oils, making it easier to obtain brightly colored ink. Since the oil is clearer, less pigment is necessary to produce the same effect. In addition to a brighter ink, printers report that they need less ink to print the same amount of paper when compared to petroleum inks.