St. Patrick's Day Chromatography

Why is the color green such a fun candy color? Because you can separate it with chromatography.

Here’s how to see the dyes that make up the green color on an M&M or jelly bean.
  1. Cut a rectangular strip of coffee filter paper.
    Dab a drop of water onto a plate, then put the candy on the water. This will dissolve a little bit of the color.
    Dab the color to make a spot of color near the bottom of the strip.
  2. Place the strip in a small glass with about a 1/2 inch of water. The bottom of the paper should be in the water, with the spot above the water.
  3. After a few minutes, look for new colors. Can you see any yellow near the bottom? Or blue on top?

And if you have leprechauns and rainbows on the brain, try the experiment with a brown or black piece of candy. You’ll see an array of colors.

Now, that’s a St. Patrick’s day rainbow!

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