Have you ever wondered how many dyes are in your favorite candies? Candy chromatography is a method of separating and comparing dyes used in candy. It is a complex mixture, without having to taste it. The word chromatography is broken into two Greek words, “ chroma” meaning color and ‘graphein’ meaning to write. It works because the components of the mixture will be different in how much they “stick” to each other, and to other substances. The dyes that stick more tightly to the paper fibers will spend less time in the water and not travel that far into the paper.
The dye that doesn’t tightly stick will spend more time in the water and will travel farther through the paper. In each experiment there is a stationary phase and mobile phase. The stationary phase is the paper used in the experiment and the mobile phase is the water. The mobile phase is also called the solvent.
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The solvent is the substance that does the dissolving. The solute is the substance that is being dissolved. 1 “In paper chromatography, you can see the components separate out on filter paper and identify the components based on how far they travel.
Do to this, we calculate the retention factor of each component”. This is explaining the math one has to use to figure which dyes where used. Rf is the symbol used to represent how far a component travels and the distance the solvent travels from a common starting point. You start by looking at the filter paper and see how far it traveled compared to the distance traveled by the solvent. 2 When measuring the distance the component traveled, one should measure from the origin and to the center of the spot in its new location. Candy chromatography is very useful for extracting dyes and many other things.