Chromotography of Food Dyes

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The Chromatography of Food Dyes and determination Of the Dyes Present in M&M Candies


To complete this lab, I first mixed the solvent solution consisting of the proper ratio of water, salt, and isopropyl alcohol in a Pyrex measuring cup. I then prepared my chromatography papers for 2 trials by drawing, with a pencil, the appropriate lines and labels. Using a toothpick, I added the color to the paper, and then repeated until the color was strong. I repeated this step several more times for the M&Ms as the color solution was not as strong as the food dyes. After the dyes were dry, I rolled the paper and added it to the pie plate, which contained a small amount of the prepared solvent. I then waited for the solution to reach the line I had drawn approximately 2/3 of the way up the paper. This step took about an hour. After that, I removed the paper and marked the position of each dye. I repeated this whole procedure for a second trial. At this point, I measured and calculated the Rf values.

Color| Solvent frontT1 T2| Distance Trial 1| DistanceTrial 2| Rf ValueTrial 1| Rf valueTrial 2| brown| 13.1/12.8| 6.2cm| 6.9cm| .473| .540|
orange| 13.1/12.8| 7.3cm| 11.4cm| .556| .892|
blue| 13.1/12.8| 11cm| 11.8cm| .840| .922|
red| 13.1/12.8| 4.9cm| 6.4cm| .374| .500|
green| 13.1/12.8| 7.4cm| 6.7cm| .565| .523|
yellow| 13.1/12.8| 10.2cm| 10cm| .779| .781|

Food Dye
color| Solvent frontT1/T2| DistanceTrial 1| Distance Trial 2| Rf ValueTrial 1| Rf ValueTrial 2| green| 13.1/12.8| 9.9cm| 11.5cm| .756| .898|
blue| 13.1/12.8| 9.8cm| 10.4cm| .748| .813|
red| 13.1/12.8| 3.4cm| 4.2cm| .300| .328|
yellow| 13.1/12.8| 9.8cm| 10.5cm| .748| .820|

Analysis and Evaluation of Results

The affinity of a substance for the stationary and mobile phases is characteristic of that substance. Different dyes have different affinities. Since each component of a...
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