From soy-based foam vehicle cushions to daily skin moisturizers, soy is no stranger to the average home thanks to sustainable innovation. Researchers and innovators from around the world are taking note of the price advantage, abundant supply and environmental sustainability of the soybean.
Higher performance, increased sustainability and lower cost — these are just a few of the demands that today’s modern customers expect from the home improvement industry. For companies relying on petroleum or formaldehyde in their products, this can seem like a challenging ask. But many find their sustainable solution in soy.
“Choosing soy is a win-win,” said Lee Walko, biobased business developer and technical advisor to the United Soybean Board. “Corporate sustainability initiatives and consumer demand for safe products drive soy technology development to replace petrochemicals and other additives.”
Although several biobased ingredients can appear as suitable replacements for petrochemicals, manufacturers need the most cost-effective and highest-performing ingredients — which in many cases presents an opportunity for soy. Not only is soybean oil traditionally more affordable than canola or sunflower oil, its abundance of C-18 links (linolenic acid, etc.) and its fatty-acid profile make soybean oil very versatile. These qualities have allowed countless leading industrial product makers to successfully introduce soy, replacing chemicals based in petroleum while reducing volatile organic compounds.