The purpose of my project was to inform myself about chromatography and to
test the different colored candy shells of the Easter version of the leading
branded colored candy bits to see which ones contain F.D.&C. Yellow Dye #5.
I also had many questions about chromatography. Such as, besides using it in the
classroom to analyze pen inks, what other values does chromatography have to the
rest of the world? I also wanted to know about food dyes. To me the different
food dyes were just names on the back of product packages under ingredients.
I decided to do this project because candy packages do not always make it
clear what different dyes are in each of the colored candies. Quite often, the
back of candy packages list several different dyes right after the words,
"May contain the following." This implies that not all of the dyes are
used in each of the different colored candies. This project was a way to see
what dyes, of the one's listed on the package, were in the four different
colored Easter candy shells. Easter candies were chosen because the colors are
different than the regular candies. The Easter candy used four pastel colors:
pink, blue, green and yellow.
Finding out which F.D.&C. Dyes are used in each of the different colored
candies would be very useful to a person who is allergic to F.D.&C. Dye
Yellow #5 because they would be able to avoid these candies and therefore, avoid
an allergic reaction that would involve hives.
To find out which of the dyes were used in each of the four colored candy
shells I decided to use chromatography. I had not used chromatography since the
sixth grade when we tested different inks. I thought of this project as a way to
use more advanced techniques of chromatography and to learn about more
applications that chromatography has in the world today.
Project researched and
documented by Ann VanBlaricum
Disclaimer: These pages were written in 1997 while the author was a sophomore in high school taking AP Chemistry. Hence, the author is not an expert on this subject, she cannot vouch for the accuracy or currency of these data or the links.