Edible Ink

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In this chemistry activity (page 6 of the PDF), learners observe a chemical change. Learners write and reveal a secret message using edible ink. Learners use their critical thinking skills to figure out why heat and time reveal the message. Though this activity is included as a pre-visit activity for a workshop about physical and chemical changes, it also is an excellent stand-alone activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • small containers
  • lemon, orange or grapefruit juice, milk, baking soda or sugar solution
  • cotton Swabs
  • paper
  • electric iron, hair dryer or some other heat source (NOT an open flame)
  • cloth towels
  • plastic tray


  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Solutions

Informal Categories

  • Crime Science
  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access