WHAT IS SOY INK?
Soy ink is very similar to "regular" printing ink, except that it contains
varying amounts of soybean oil instead of petroleum oil. Soybean oil is non-toxic and used
in cooking oils, margarine and salad dressings.
Soy ink can be used on virtually any lithographic press with no modifications or special
cleaning agents. It can be used on most printed pieces, and is available in all Pantone®
and process colors.
IS SOY INK AVAILABLE ONLY FOR PRINTING?
Soy ink is available in several formulations, including news, sheet-fed, heat-set,
cold-set, business forms and some flexographic. It is not available for ballpoint pens or
laser printer and photocopier ink cartridges. There is limited use in the gravure and
WHY SHOULD I SWITCH TO SOY INK?
Soy ink is high-quality. The soybean oil in soy ink allows pigments to reach their full
capacity. Soybean oil is derived from U.S.-grown soybeans, an abundant and sustainable
Ink containing soybean oil is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which react with
other atmospheric pollutants to form smog. In addition, soy ink is recycling-friendly: it
is removed more effectively during de-inking, and the resulting waste is not considered
hazardous and can be treated more easily, completely and cost-effectively.
IS THE QUALITY REALLY AS GOOD AS REGULAR INK?
Yes. When you switch to soy ink from petroleum-based ink, you won't see any loss of
quality. In fact, you may even see an improvement! The soybean oil in soy ink allows
pigments to reach their full potential, resulting in deep, rich, bright colors.
Whether you're convincing your client or your printer to switch to soy ink, we can help.
We've developed two side-by-side, identical picture comparisons of soy ink and petroleum
ink. One comparison is printed on a sheet-fed press, the other on a heat-set press.
IS SOY INK MORE EXPENSIVE THAN REGULAR INK?
Soy ink for commercial printing is comparably priced with petroleum-based ink, as is color
news ink containing soybean oil. Although soy ink costs about 25 percent more than
petroleum ink in the black news ink market, some newspaper publishers have reported they
can print more papers with less ink, making it more competitively priced in the long run.
HOW DO I DISPOSE OF SOY INK?
Many newspapers and large commercial printers are recycling their ink by mixing black ink
with unused color inks. Such a process results in more efficient use of ink, reduces waste
and is more cost-effective for the printer. Soy ink has proved compatible with this
HOW AVAILABLE IS SOY INK?
Today, there are about 100 U.S. ink manufacturers producing at least one soy ink product.
Chances are, your ink representative carries a line of soy ink.
IS SOY INK LASER PROOF?
Yes. Soybean oil's boiling point is much greater than petroleum oil's. This higher boiling
point means the oil does not volatilize when exposed to the heat of a laser printer or
copy machine. Soy ink sticks to the paper instead of being transferred to printer and/or