Plant pigment identification: A classroom and outreach activity

Kathleen C.A. Garber, Antoinette Y. Odendaal, Erin E. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Anthocyanins are a class of pigments responsible for the bright colors of many flowers, fruits, and vegetables typically resulting in shades of red, blue, and purple. Students were asked to perform an activity to enable them to identify which anthocyanin was present in one of several possible plant materials through a hands-on activity. Students extracted the pigments from the biological sources and obtained color profiles by altering the pH of the biological extracts. These extracts were compared to standards of anthocyanin pigments so that students could deduce which pigment was present in the plant material that they had selected. This activity interrelates several chemical concepts and provides a link between chemical and biological sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-759
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 11 2013


  • Acid/Base
  • Dyes/Pigments
  • Elementary/Middle School Science Outreach
  • Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
  • Molecular Properties
  • Natural Products
  • Public Understanding/Outreach
  • pH


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