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Bezawit Wube

Experiment 4
Summer session

Chromatogra
phy of food
dyes
General
Chemistry
II - 182

Abstract:
Student will have the opportunity to learn how mixtures of compounds can be separated and
determine what food dyes are found in certain food by using paper chromatography. Student will

learn how solubility is affected by polarity Paper chromatography is a simple yet extremely
effective method for determining the presence of a substance in a mixture or for separating
components from a mixture. Students will observe that some dyes are more polar than others and
that they are absorbed more tightly to the paper and are moved more slowly by the salt paper.
Purpose:

To learn how mixtures of compounds can be separated


To learn what food dyes are found in certain foods
In this exercise student will separate food dyes from a variety of sources. The separation
is based on polarity. Most dyes are all polar and will be soluble in water

Materials used:
Distilled water
1 Salt
1 Ruler
1 Scissors
1 Stapler
1 Pencil
1 Tape
16 Toothpicks
1 Kool-Aid drink mix: strawberry
1 Kool-Aid drink mix: grape
1 Set of food colorings usually
boxed in small
vials of red, yellow, green, & blue
1 Small bag of M&M candy

1 Well-Plate-24
Experiment Bag Chromatography
of Food Dyes 1 FDC Blue Dye #-1 0.5 mL in Vial
1 FDC Blue Dye #-2 - 0.5 mL in Vial
1 FDC Red Dye #-3 - 0.5 mL in Vial
1 FDC Red Dye #-40 - 0.5 mL in
Vial
1 FDC Yellow Dye #-5 - 0.5 mL in
Vial
1 FDC Yellow Dye #-6 - 0.5 mL in
Vial
1 Unknown - 0.5 mL in Vial
Special Papers Bag Special Papers
Bag-CK-2 3 Filter Paper Chrom 14x7

Beaker, 50 mL, plastic


1 Petri dish, 60 mm

cm

Procedure:
1. Using the 50-mL beaker, dissolve a pinch of salt into 50 mL of warm (room temperature)
distilled water. Stir until completely dissolved and set aside.
2. . Obtain two sheets of Filter Paper Sheets Chromatography 14 x 7cm from your LabPaq
3. . On Sheet 1, from left to right, lightly label in pencil each section between the cross lines
with the abbreviation for the six FD&C food colors from your experiment bag that will be
tested, i.e., B1, B2, R3, R40, Y5, and Y6
4. Also on Sheet 1, but now right to left, place the labels KG and KS to represent the Kool5.

Aid Grape and Kool-AidStrawberry drink mixes to be tested


On Sheet 2 from left to right, lightly label in pencil each section between the cross lines

with the abbreviation for the grocery store food colorings that will be tested, i.e., R, Y, G,B a
6. Also on Sheet 2, but now from right to left, place the label UK for
unknown and then M plus A letter for the color of four different candies from your
bag of M&Ms, i.e., MR, MY, MB, etc.
7. Set Sheet 2 aside and perform the following for Sheet 1. After you have
completed the experiment for Sheet 1, repeat for Sheet 2.
8. For each dye on the sheet to be tested
9. Now form the paper into a cylinder with the edges touching, but NOT
overlapped, and staple at the top and bottom.
10. The salt water (~0.1% NaCl) you previously prepared will be your
eluting solvent and a petri dish will be your elution chamber. Pour salt
water into the clean and empty petri dish to depth of about 1/2 cm.

11.

Set your cylinder next to the petri dish with the spots at the bottom

and look to make sure the solvent level is below the line of dye spots
12. Carefully drop the dye cylinder into the eluting chamber, making sure
not to touch the petri dish sides
13. When complete remove the cylinder from the chamber and
immediately mark the top of each solvent-front with a pencil. Allow the
paper to dry for several minutes
14. Then measure to the nearest millimeter and record the heights of the
dye and solvent-front in each column:
15. Calculate and record the Rf value for each spot: Rf = dye
distance/solvent distance
16. Repeat Steps 8 through 15 for the items listed on Sheet 2.
17. 17. By comparing the color columns of the unknown sample and the
food items with those of the FD&C food dyes it is possible to determine
which dyes are used in the Kool-Aid, in the grocery food colorings, and
in the M&Ms.

Data:

Substance

Blue

Distance(mm)

1
9m

Data table Sheet1:FD&C Food Colors


Blue Red3
Red40
Yellow5 Yellow6

Solvent

2
0.5sm

1.39cm

1.6cm

1.3cm

4cm

m
2.25

Rf

Substance
Distance(mm)
Rf

0.13

Data Table
Kool-Aid Grape
0.66cm
0.15

0.35

0.4

0.33

Sheet1:Drink Mixes
Kool-Aid strawberry
1.1cm
0.25

Solvent
4.4cm

Data Table Sheet 2: Store Food Colors


Substance
Distance
(mm)
Rf

Substance
Distance
Rf

Store Red Store


Yellow
1.1cm
1,2cm

1,1cm

Store
Blue
1.1cm

2.07

2.08

2.07

2.26

Store Green

Data Table Sheet2:candy colors


M&M Green
M&M
M&M Blue
0.59cm
0.17

orang
0.72cm
0.21

0.69cm
0.20

Solvent
0.53cm

M&M

Solvent

brown
0.49cm
0.14

3.4cm

Observation:
For the unknown, we observe that the R40 and B1 are used to make up the
color.
For the Kool-Aid strawberry, we used R40 and for the Kool-Aid grape Red 40
and Blue 1.
For the grocery store food coloring the brand used is Mc Cormick. And the
FD&C colors used are Yellow 5, Red 3, Red 40, and Blue 1.
Student should observe that R3 is absorbed more tightly to the paper and is
moved more slowly by the salt water.
Questions:
A. Why cant a pen be used to draw the baseline on the chromatography
paper?
Because of the pens ink. The pens ink would have disrupt the
experiment.
B. Why it is important to stop the chromatograph before the solvent
reaches the top of paper?

. without knowing where the solvent reaches the top, you cannot
calculate the RF
C. Why is it important to keep the dye spots above the solvent level?
So that the dye do not be blended in the petri dish and goes in
other segments. Student must be careful to keep the dye spots
above the solvent level.
D. Why is it important to mark the solvent level on the chromatography
paper when you remove it from the petri dish?
so you can accurately calculate the Rf

Results / Analysis

Rf value =

compound distance
solvent distance

Conclusion:
One can conclude that at the completion of this experiment, the unknown is
a Kool-Aid grape because they have the same colorings. On our filter paper
Blue 2 seems not to work and we did not use it in any coloring nor drink mix.
The Yellow 6 is not used neither but it has a coloring lose to orange. After our
observation, we can conclude that R3 is more polar than R40, Y5 and Y6.