The purpose of doing this particular experiment was to be familiar with
chromatographic separation techniques by using paper chromatography and thin layer
chromatography. This is done to separate mixtures of food color dyes and plant pigments.
We are using this particular experiment because it is difficult to separate substances with
similar physical and chemical properties. Separation of a mixture of closely related
substances is a problem. That is why we use the powerful separation techniques called
The supplies that are needed for Separation of Food Dyes are: four colors of food
dyes (blue, green, red, and yellow), Whatman No.1 filter paper, 46 x 57 cm sheets each
pre-cut into twelve 11.5 x 19 cm pieces, centimeter ruler, pencils, applicators, plastic
food wrap, size 33 rubber bands, scissors, and a stapler.
The supplies that are needed for Separation of Plant Pigments are: canned tomato
paste, 15 x 125 mm and 13 x 100 mm test tubes, test-tube rack, transfer pipets, spatula,
hot plate, centrifuge, #3 and #4 size corks, plastic food wrap, 10-mL beakers, 2.5 x 7.5
cm J.T. Baker’s Baker-flex Precoated Flexible TLC sheets, Silica Gel IB-F coating,
developing chamber (4-oz wide-mouth screw cap bottles with Teflon-lined screw caps),
applicators, and pencils.