Chromatography of Food Dyes

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  • Topic: Food coloring, E number, Food colorings
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Chromatography of Food Dye
Chem 180-DL3

The goal of this experiment was to use different dyes to determine the Rf value. Chromatography is done to determine the presence of a mixture in a substance. In this experiment different dyes were used such as McCormick food coloring, M&M’s, Kool-Aid, and the dyes that came with the lab kit.
Experiment and Observation:
In this experiment a 50mL beaker was filled with luke warm water and a pinch of salt water was dissolved in it and set aside. A line was drawn with pencil 1 cm from the bottom of the paper and then the line was separated with cross lines 1.5cm apart on two sheets of chromatography paper. The sections on the first sheet of paper were labeled B1, B2, R3, R40, Y5, and Y6 for the FD&C food colors and KG and KS for the grape and strawberry Kool-Aid. The second sheet was labeled R, Y, G, B for the grocery store bought food dye and MR, MY, MB, MG for the M&M’s and UK for the unknown.

For each dye tested on the sheet of chromatography paper a few drops of the dye were put in a well of the 24-well plate. A toothpick was dipped into each of the wells and a small dot of the dye was put on the paper in the center of the line. A few drops of water were added to the 2 different Kool-Aid’s and also to the M&M’s. After all the samples were placed on both sheets of chromatography paper they were left to dry for a few minutes.

While the dye was drying to the paper, the salt water mixture was put in a petri dish about 0.5cm high. The chromatography paper was then stapled to form a cylinder. The paper was placed next to the petri dish to make sure that the water level was below the line that was drawn. The paper was then placed in the petri dish making sure not to touch the sides. It was allowed to sit in the salt water for a few minutes until the solvent stopped traveling up the paper. It was then removed to dry and the second paper was placed in the eluting solvent and...
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