Second Day (27th May 2015)

What did you do today?
Today the aim of our experiment was to extract artificial colourings from candies (M&M), through thin layer chromatography (TLC). Though I did this in SST, it was a different experiment as we used wool to extract the colourings from the candies. Wool is effective in extracting the colours from the candies as wool is made up of positive charges while the artificial colouring of the candy is made up of negative charge. Thus they attract making it easier for the colour to be extracted from the candy to the wool. Then, we had to transfer the pouring from the wool into the acid. The procedure of this experiment was straight-forward but also very eventful. 
1) Submerge the wool into acetic acid and heat it in the beaker
2) Collect the colours from the M&M candies and remove the impurities
3) Heat the colours to evaporate some liquid to concentrate the artificial colours
4) Use TLC to analyse the results and compare it with the results of the standard colours

What did you learn today?
Today I learnt more about what are artificial colours and their usage. I had a better understanding on their pros and cons. Artificial colours are used to make the food more attractive and appetising for the person consuming it. It does not add any nutritional value and if intake too much, it might harm the consumer's health. Thus, to prevent this the amount of artificial colouring in candies such as M&M is regulated by law. TLC is used to test is the amount of artificial colouring to ensure that it is not violating the law. Since the results of TLC uses the polarity of the substance (solubility of the solvent), the results can then be compared with the standard colouring. I had a fun and educational experience today , improving my knowledge on artificial food colourings and Thin Layer Chromatography. 

How do you feel about today’s activities?
Food colourings are used in almost every candy/ food we eat. It is necessary  for us to have sufficient owl edge on the impact of it on the human body if consumed too much. By today's experiment, I found out more about food colourings, their impacts and their uses. Also, the experiment today helped me widen my knowledge on Thin Layer Chromatography and I also understood its function.

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