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When you were a toddler, you might have insisted on eating only one color of M&Ms because “Green tastes the best.” After some experimentation, you probably realized that the food coloring in M&Ms and other candies add only color, not flavor.There are natural and artificial food colorings. One natural color is beet juice. The with beet juice is even though it can give almost anything a pretty pink color, it can also create a beet taste. Most candies have artificial colors. The U.S. government has approved seven, and their names appear over and over again on labels. Food coloring usually appears near the end of the ingredient list, because the list starts with the ingredient in the highest amount. For example, the first ingredient listed on a Skittles label is sugar. No surprise there. Another thing you might notice on candy labels is the term “Lake.” Lakes are dyes combined with salt, which makes them more stable and allows them to be dispersed in oils. Lakes are often used in low water products like hard candy and lipstick.But let’s get back to green M&M’s. Maybe part of you still believes that the green color has some magical properties. What if you could scientifically compare the green color of a Skittle with the green color of an M&M? You can use a powerful scientific technique called chromatography, which is the separation of a mixture by passing it through a medium (in this experiment, you’ll use filter paper) in which different parts of the mixture move at different rates. You might have seen chromatography in action if you spilled water on a paper that just came out of an inkjet printer. Chromatography works because different substances in a mixture have different solubility. Solubility is how much of a particular substance can dissolve in a particular solvent (a liquid). For instance, you can dissolve a lot of sugar in water, but not quite as much salt. In chromatography, the least soluble substances fall out of the filter paper column first, while the most soluble travel the farthest up the filter paper.In this experiment you will do chromatography on green M&Ms and green Skittles and compare the chromatography patterns. Of course, you will have lots of extra candy you can experiment with or snack on later.

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Fecha publicación: 12.5.2016

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