Food Coloring and Course Guide

Topics: Food coloring, Dye, E number Pages: 8 (1986 words) Published: April 23, 2013
This week we will begin work on a class project to conduct an investigation of food dye additives. Your participation in the project will continue throughout this semester and also through Chem 1212.  Our overall goal for this year is to determine the identity of the dyes in various foods and then to quantify the amount of dye contained in those foods.  Building on the base you establish, the project will hopefully continue for the next several years. Therefore- you have an obligation to contribute your ideas in a thoughtful, serious and scientific way. Please do the best job you can to make sure you collect valid information, understand the experimental procedures, and perform those procedures accurately!  This is truly a research project in that none of us knows the best strategies for conducting the project or what the outcomes will be. You will begin where responsible chemists generally begin a new project – with a search for information on food dye additives.    Currently, there are concerns about the usage of food dyes and other additives. Food dyes have been linked to conditions such as ADHD, hyperactivity and severe allergies. Whereas thirty years ago one did not conceive of food being labeled with caloric and other nutritional information, it is commonplace nowadays. One can envision future labeling that will extend to quantitative amounts of food dyes present.    The research project being undertaken by GGC and its chemistry students will be carried out over several weeks. During the 1211 semester students will:

Week 1:Students will gain experience in searching the scientific literature and gather background information on the extraction and qualitative analysis of food dyes.

Week 2: Students will select a food product on which to carry out their analysis. Students will then perform extractions and analyses to determine the food dye(s) in their sample. The primary identification of food dyes will be carried out using UV/VIS Spectroscopy. Teams will carry out extractions/analyses on food samples of other teams for the purposes of “peer review”.

Week 3: Students will complete their lab report in their lab note books for the instructor to evaluate. Teams will then prepare oral presentations including Introduction, Procedure, Data/Observations, and Conclusions. Peer-evaluation/comparison will also occur.

During the 1212 semester students will expand upon the progress made during the 1211 semester. In addition to qualitative analysis, they will also perform a quantitative analysis to determine the amounts of food dyes present. While an oral presentation will be used to disseminate results in 1211, the students will prepare a written presentation in a format suitable for publication in a scientific journal.


Objective: To develop research and library skills in order to obtain background information on food dyes that will direct and guide your investigation into their qualitative and quantitative analysis.

The library course guide has information and links that will be helpful for completing this assignment. The Access Services online library guide on will also be helpful:

PART I: Locating Books from the GGC Library – See the Finding Books tab on the course guide

Or: go to the GGC website, click on Academics tab at the top of the page, then select “Library” from the drop down list. This takes you the library home page. To search for books in the GGC Library, find the heading “GIL Library Catalog” then click the link GIL@GGC. Use the new version of the GIL search engine by clicking on the “Try GIL-Find Beta” link.

Task1: Search for the words food additives. What is the title of the book by...
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