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University of Illinois Extension serving Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam Counties

LaSalle County
815 North Orlando Smith Road
Room C223
Oglesby, IL 61348
Phone: 815- 224-0889
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Bureau County
850 Thompson St,
Becker Professional Suites,
Princeton, IL 61356
Phone: 815-875-2878
FAX: 815-875-2870
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

LaSalle County
1689 North 31st Road,
Suite 2
Ottawa, IL 61350
Phone: 815-433-0707
FAX: 815-433-5454
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

Marshall-Putnam County
509 Front Street,
Suite 4
Henry, IL 61537
Phone: 309-364-2356
FAX: 309-364-2804
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)

News Release

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Putnam County Fifth Grade Learn About Soy Lecithin

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION – Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit


Ask any fifth grade student at Putnam County Elementary what makes NesQuick™ quick. They should be able to tell which ingredient is key to that result. After participating in a recent University of Illinois Marshall Putnam Ag in the Classroom program, students now know about an ingredient called soy lecithin. It comes from soybeans. When asked what soybeans are used for, student replies were varied. In fact, soybeans are used in hundreds of ways from food additives to products such as glues, inks, and biodiesel fuel. At the beginning of the lesson students investigated some real soybeans. They prepared ten beans for testing to see what percentage would germinate. Then they compared the ingredient list on containers of baking cocoa and NesQuick™.  The latter included soy lecithin.  They placed a small amount of cocoa in some milk and observed what happened. It was easy to see that it did not mix in well. Repeating the same test with NesQuick™ they could see it mixed with the milk effortlessly. “Soy lecithin acts as a surfactant, breaking down the bonds between the milk molecules and allowing the cocoa flavored product to mix with the milk,” explained Julie Read, AITC coordinator. Soy lecithin is used in many food products to ensure a smooth texture. Most candies include this additive. Students were given the ingredient list for Hershey™ Kisses and found soy lecithin was included. They could now explain why. They also noted what other agriculture sources were part of making the candy. The lesson concluded with each student receiving a Kiss. Hershey™ Kiss, that is!  For more information call University of Illinois Extension – Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 309-364-2356. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus. The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. Visit our website at  -End-