The Analysis of Food Dyes in Beverages Advanced Inquiry Lab Kit for AP* Chemistry allows students to utilize spectroscopy and graphical analysis using Beer's Law while practicing lab skills in dilutions and spectroscopic measurements.
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Big Idea 1, Investigation 1, Primary Learning Objective 1.15. Food dyes are everywhere—from food to drink to cosmetics! How much food dye is actually contained in these products? This advanced inquiry lab allows students to utilize spectroscopy and graphical analysis to determine the concentration of dye in a sports drink. The lab begins with an introductory activity in which students prepare a series of standard dilutions of an FDC Blue 1 stock solution. Students then measure the percent transmittance of each and graph the results to identify an optimum linear relationship among various functions (T, %T, log T and A) for a Beer's law calibration curve. A Beer’s law plot of absorbance as a function of concentration may then be used to calculate the concentration of any “unknown” solution. Using this introductory procedure as a model, students design guided-inquiry experiments to determine the concentration of food dye(s) in sports drinks and other consumer beverages. Additional dyes (FDC Yellow 5 and Red 40) and samples of sports drinks are included in the kit for optional extension or cooperative class inquiry studies. Use this investigation to develop—and test—skills in preparing accurate serial dilutions, understanding spectroscopic measurements, and extrapolating from graphical data. Complete for 24 students working in pairs.