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FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Labs for AP® Chemistry: Analysis of Food Dyes in Beverages

By: The Flinn Staff

The Analysis of Food Dyes in Beverages Inquiry Lab Solution for AP® Chemistry allows students to utilize spectroscopy and graphical analysis using Beer’s Law while practicing lab skills in dilutions and spectroscopic measurements.

Includes access to exclusive FlinnPREP™ digital content to combine the benefits of classroom, laboratory and digital learning. Each blended learning lab solution includes prelab videos about concepts, techniques and procedures, summary videos that relate the experiment to the AP® exam, built-in student lab safety training with assessments, and standards-based, tested inquiry labs with real sample data. FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Lab Solutions are adaptable to you and how you teach with multiple ways to access and run your AP labs.

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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 FD&C 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 (FD&C 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. Refill kit includes chemicals and consumable items. A version of this lab is available as a Wet/Dry Advanced Inquiry Laboratory Kit for One Period (Catalog No. AP8497).

FLINNprep is just one of the powerful learning pathways accessed via PAVO, Flinn’s award-winning gateway to standards-aligned digital science content paired with hands-on learning.