• HOOK – A Nonionic Surfactant Adjuvant – #54

HOOK:  The Nonionic Surfactant Adjuvant with Zwitterion Capabilities

CL #54, February 2013


HOOK is labeled as a nonionic surfactant adjuvant.  Hook’s chemistry has a backbone of being a high quality, polymeric nonionic surfactant with cationic and anionic membranes that work well together.  This effect is called Zwitterion capabilities.


HOOK’s nonionic backbone structure, with cationic and anionic membrane Zwitterion capabilities gives spray tank solutions an effective mixture when sprayed onto plant surfaces.


HOOK, when added to the spray tank solution, allows superior coverage of the entire leaf surface, maximizing the wetting, spreading, sticking and penetration properties (while minimizing drift) of the pesticide.


  • Let’s look into the spray tank solution. Zwitterion capabilities come into play when any cations (positively-charged ions) or anions (negatively-charged ions) from surfactants from other pesticides in the solution affect the quality of the spray deposition onto the leaf surface.
  • Most leaf surfaces are negatively charged and spray adjuvants may be negatively, neutrally or positively charged. HOOK’s nonionic backbone and its Zwitterion capabilities keep the positive cations and negative anions in the solution in a balanced ionic relationship so that the pesticides stick better and penetrate more easily without causing undo harm to the spray solution from flocculation, greasing and separation, which in turn, will be detrimental on a leaf surface.
  • In other words, HOOK brings the electrostatic attraction forces in the spray tank between the positives and negatives together for effective deposition on leaf surfaces. This effect is called Zwitterion capabilities.


In addition, let’s not overlook the importance of HOOK to the pH of the spray solution and HOOK’s effect on plant surfaces. We already know that it is the job of the grower to keep the pH of their tank solution in the 4-7 range. Too low or too high a pH (less than 4 and greater than 7) can have a detrimental effect on the pesticide spray properties on a leaf surface. Hook added to the spray solution keeps the pesticide onto the leaf surfaces at any pH, low or high allowing the pesticide to do its job more effectively. You also can use our Mic-Ro-Pac 11-8-5 Foliar Spray with Nutrients to adjust your pH. Mic-Ro-Pac is an effective pH reducer and you have the advantage of added foliar feeding for your spray.


Remember, HOOK does not affect pH of the spray solution (make it higher or lower).The pH of the final spray solution is maintained by the grower and the pesticide ingredients and other additives. However, when HOOK is added to the spray solution, the grower’s confidence in the quality of the spray mix will increase, since HOOK works will work well in low and high pH spray solutions.


When using HOOK, follow label instructions and “Always Add HOOK Last”


CL #54 HOOK The Nonionic Surfactant Adjuvant with Zwitterion Capabilities (PDF)

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