Soy Ink Seal

Soy ink is made from soybeans. Compared to traditional petroleum-based ink, soy-based ink is accepted as more environmentally friendly. While slower to dry than many inks, it provides more accurate colors and makes it easier to recycle paper.

The history of soy ink is steeped in the newspaper industry when, in the late 1970s, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) was looking for new ways to make ink beyond standard petroleum-based ink. Rising prices for petroleum and quarrels with OPEC countries were reasons they wanted to find a more reliable and cost efficient method of printing. After testing more than 2,000 vegetable oil formulations, researchers for the NAA came up with the solution of using soybean oil. In 1987, soybeans were successfully tested by The Gazette from Iowa in a practical printing run.

Today, about one-third of America’s nearly 10,000 newspaper printers use it. And, more than 90% of the nation’s daily newspapers are printed with color soy ink. Soy inks also work well for label printing, as they allow a reduction in ink coverage by 85% compared to water-based inks.

MINIMUM STANDARDS: The SoySeal may be used by Licensee only on products meeting or exceeding the following established standards.

Soybean oil* as a percentage of total formula weight

Black news ink 40
Color news ink 30
Cold-set ink 30
Carbon Ink 25
Screen Printing Ink 25
Sheet-fed ink 20
Business forms ink 20
Metallic Ink 10
Desensitizing Ink 10
Heat-set ink 7
UV/EB ink 7
Stencil duplicator ink 6

*Soybean oil must be the predominant vegetable oil, with vegetable drying oils added as needed, but not to exceed the level of soybean oil set out in the respective formulation. Alcohol esters of soybean oil may be substituted directly for soybean oil in news, sheet-fed, cold-set and business forms inks to obtain the minimum concentration standard. The minimum soybean oil concentration for heat-set inks increased to 15% (by weight) when alcohol esters of soybean oil replace soybean oil in this formulation.

Flexographic ink (water based)
The vehicle must contain a minimum of 20% soy protein; (water based) a minimum of 15% of the vehicle must be included in the ink.

Soy Ink License Royalty Payments and Renewals

All payments are in U.S. Dollars. All Soy Ink License Agreement renew annually on January 1 of each year. Royalty Payments during the year are pro-rated by quarter.

Once payment has been received ASA will email a soy ink or soy oil logo and a signed certified contract within 72 hours. You will also receive a letter of approval authorizing the use of the products as per the Soy Ink/Oil agreement.

Note: If you prefer an invoice, please email our accounting department at If you have any questions, please contact Sharetha Newsome at  for further assistance.