Candy Chromatography

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Learners analyze candy-coated sweets using chromatography. Learners use this method to separate the various dyes used to make colored candy. Learners can try this activity with different types of candy or with candy of different colors and compare the results.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • At least two kinds of candy-coated sweets (like M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, Skittles) in the same color(brown works best)
  • Coffee filters cut into 1” x 3” strips
  • Toothpicks
  • Small glasses
  • Water
  • Pen


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access