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Identifying And Replicating Color

Concentrations of a Beverage
<names removed for privacy>

Abstract: This report shows the methodology for identifying the

concentrations of a beverage, in particular, purple PowerAde, via analysis of
the absorbency of the beverage to light, and using these concentrations to
emulate the color of the original beverage. The wavelength-absorbency
relationship of the beverage and multiple available dyes are recorded, and
this data used to identify the dyes contained in the beverage. These dyes are
then analyzed to determine concentration-absorbency relationship of the
dye, and the concentration of dye in the original beverage. The dyes in the
purple PowerAde were found to be Blue 1 and Red 40, with concentrations of
2.709E-6 mol/liter and 1.275E-5 mol/liter of dye particulate with 20 percent
and five percent uncertainty, respectively. These corresponded to a net
absorbency of .191 and .256, respectively. The synthesized solution had
approximately the same dye concentrations, with Red 40 absorbency of .181,
a five percent error, and Blue 1 absorbency of .369, a 44 percent error.

Introduction: The goal of this

project is to identify dyes and their
concentrations present in a
beverage, and to synthesize a
beverage with the some color
properties of the original beverage,
i.e. the same concentrations of the
same dyes. This process of
identifying and emulating colors
has many uses. Food manufactures
often try to obtain certain colors to
increase appeal to a certain
product, which can be adjusted
from the naturally occurring color
by adding the right concentrations
of dyes. Another use for these
absorbency tests is finding
concentrations of certain chemicals
or particles in a solution. While the
dyes used in this experiment

contain particulate specifically

chosen for its color, many
chemicals may have inherit light
absorbance properties that can be
used to determine the type and
concentration of particles in a
solution, for example, to find
contamination of a water source.
Both of these uses are common in
their respective industries, and
have been subject to research
because of it, resulting in
colorimeters and other tools to
ease this analysis. Colorimetry is
also a simplified form of
spectrophotometry based on the 3
color theory of human vision,
allowing for chemists to benefit
from research in physics in the
field.1 This report will first cover the

methods used to test dye identity

and concentrations in the
beverage, including materials, and
then to replicate the beverage
color. The results of these tests will
then be presented, analyzed, and
discussed. Finally, the underlying
meaning of the data as a whole will
be discussed.

Experimental Section:
Materials: Red 3, Red 40, Blue 1,
Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and
Green 3 dyes2 provided by the
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry. Beakers
provided by University of
Minnesota Department of
Chemistry. Logger Pro, and
spectrometer provided by the
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry
Equipment Rental. Purple PowerAde
beverage purchased from
convenience store.
Colorimeter Calibration: A sample
of deionized water was placed
inside the cuvette, connected to
logger pro. The calibration tool in
logger pro took readings to find
neutral readings from the nonabsorbent water.3
measurements: The colorimeter
was calibrated. A sample of the
desired solution was placed inside
the cuvette. The wavelengthabsorbance measurement
sequence on logger pro was run,
and data recorded. The peak(s)

were recorded with both

wavelength and absorbency.

Measurements: A pure dye is
diluted with 7 different amounts of
deionized water to create 7
different solutions of with different
concentrations of solute. The
concentration of solute in each dye
was calculated from initial
concentration, initial volume of
dye, and final volume of the
solution. A sample of each of these
solutions was placed in the
cuvette, and the absorbency of the
peak wavelength from the
wavelength-absorbance tests was
recorded. These measurements for
a particular dye were then graphed
and linearly regressed to find an
absorbance per mole relationship,
or calibration curve.3
Identifying present dyes: The
wavelengths of the peaks in the
purple PowerAde are compared to
the wavelengths of peaks in the
dye. Wavelengths that match
indicate the presence of the
corresponding dye. These are the
only dyes that concentrationsabsorbance relationship is
Concentration in Beverage: The
absorbency of each dyes color was
substituted into the corresponding
relationship equation, to determine
the molarity of each dyes
particulate in the PowerAde.

Synthesis: Using the following

system of equation, the initial
concentration of the dyes, the
concentrations of the PowerAde,
and the desired final volume,
volumes of dye and water were
determined. These Volumes were
then mixed, measured with the
colorimeter, and compared with
the original solution.

regressed to find the calibration

curves in the form
Absorbance= Absorbance per MolarityConcentration+ E
. The details of the solutions are in
Table 3 and 4 below, and the
regressions in Graphs 1 and 2.

(Table 2) The Blue 1 based solutions, and their



Vred +Vblu+Vwater=Vtot

Results and Discussion:

Identification of Dyes: The purple
PowerAde was analyzed, and was
found to have peaks at 504.8 and
630.6 nm. These corresponded to
Blue 1 and Red 40 dyes. The peaks
of each of the dyes is shown in
table 1. The results of these
comparisons are in table 1.

(Table 1) The peak wavelengths of each dye,

and the peak values of the purple PowerAde

Calibration Curves: Using the Red

40 dye, 7 solutions of different
concentrations were found. These
were found, graphed, and linearly

(Graph 1) The Blue 1 based solution calibration


(Table 3) The Red 40 based solutions, and their


(Graph 1) The Red 40 based solution

calibration curve.

The Red 40 curve was

somewhat more accurate, as a
wider selection of concentrations
was chosen, rather than being
clustered. It can also be observed

from the slope of the lines that the

Blue solute absorbs much more
light at a given concentration than
the Red solute.
Synthesis: From measurements on
the purple PowerAde, the beverage
had a Blue 1 absorbency of .256,
and a Red 40 absorbency of .191.
Using the calibration curves, the
molarity of Blue particulate in the
PowerAde 2.709E-6 mol/l, and
1.275E-5 mol/l of r=Red
particulate. The order of magnitude
difference in concentrations,
despite the fairly small differences
in absorbency, again emphasize
that the blue particulate is much
more absorbent.
Using the system of equations, it
was found that a solution should be
69.8 percent water, 10.5 percent
Red Dye, and 19.7% Blue Dye. As
we desired 40 ml of solution, this
corresponded to 27.9, 4.2, and 7.9
ml, respectively. These quantities
were mixed, and the peaks of the
new solution compared. The results
of these comparisons are in table

(Table 3) The Red 40 based solutions, and their


As can be seen, the wavelengths

absorbed were within 1.2 percent,
verifying that the correct dyes had

been selected. Red 40 Absorption

was also very accurate, within five
percent. The Blue 1 absorption,
however, was significantly higher
than expected, with a 44 percent
The cause for this error could
potentially be attributed to many
issues. Experimental failures occur
in the clustering of data points in
the blue calibration curve, which
may may have a decently
significant impact on the amount of
blue calculated. Furthermore, the
dyes werent shaken, so they may
have had a disproportionate
amount of solute within the volume
used. Both of these issues could be
corrected, were the experiment to
be re-performed. The small
volumes also required very specific
volumes to be used, which, due to
equipment, means a relatively high
percent error in volume
measurements. Additional error
may be introduced by non-dye but
absorbent ingredients within the
purple PowerAde. Finally, the
colorimeters were extremely
inconsistent, with measurements
even for the same solution
changing from trial to trial. This
could eventually be corrected for
by taking numerous trials, possibly
with different colorimeters, to find
statistical averages in all the
measurements. However, this
would require high volumes of
solutions, and significant time,
making such unfeasible for our
available resources. Unfortunately,
due to the nature of these

inaccuracies, none of them but

volume measurement can be
accurately quantified, requiring
that the results of synthesis be
looked at qualitatively.
It has been demonstrated that the
Purple PowerAde contains Blue 1
and Red 40 dyes, with particulate
concentrations of 2.709E-6 mol/l,
and 1.275E-5 mol/l respectively.
The PowerAde had an absorbency
of .256 for Blue, and .191 for red. It
was also found that Red dye
absorbs 20369 Absorbency Units
(AO) per mol per liter, while Blue
dye absorbs roughly triple that at
63503 AO per mol per liter.
Synthesis was moderately
successful although still had
significant inaccuracy in the blue
dye. Furthermore, inaccuracies are
unmeasurable, as the scope of this
experiment depended on the
accuracy of the colorimeter, which
was proven to be unreliable. There
is also issues in the collection of
data that makes these results
difficult to compare to related
research, such as the use of
molarity rather than ppm. Due to

these numerous issues, the

primary conclusions that can be
drawn are that Red 40 and Blue 1
are the dyes present in purple
PowerAde, and their approximate
concentrations. This experiment
requires significant changes in both
procedure and equipment before it
would be an adequate foundation
for further research. Should this be
done, however, this research may
be directed in multiple directions.
But it may be especially useful to
identify colorimetric properties of a
number of simple chemicals and
compounds, and use these results
to identify unknown solutions.
(1Konica Minolta Sensing Americas,
Inc. How to measure color differences
ook.aspx?AID=25124 (accessed Apr
10, 2014).

(2) MHLearningSolutions. Food Dye

Content (accessed April 2014).

(3) MHLearningSolutions. Ocean

Optics Spectrophotometer (accessed
April 2014).