Friday, April 29, 2011

CakeMate Hearts

If you're not making cupcakes, there's only so much you can do with Cake Mate Valentine's hearts.  After we had eaten our fill of the hearts a kind neighbor gave us, I wondered what we'd do with the rest.  "How about candy experiments?" a friend suggested.  Of course.

According to the label, these red hearts actually contain three dyes: Red 3, Red 40, and Yellow 6.  When we tried chromatography, the red heart dye separated into at least two different colors, a pink and an orange.

If the color table on is accurate, we found Red 3 ("cherry-red") and Red 40 ("orange-red").  Yellow may have been too faint for us to see (this is common), it might not separate from the other dyes in water (for instance, if it moves at the same speed in water as one of the other dyes), or it may only have been used in the pink candy which we did not test.

We also wondered if the hearts would sink or float.  Turns out they do both.

These two hearts were put in water at the same time.  One sank quickly, while the other floated for several minutes.  The floating heart had an air bubble trapped underneath, which probably helped the buoyancy.

Overall, the hearts floated at first, then sank, then returned to the surface as a dissolving mass of bubbles.

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