chemistry question #1735



Shaheena Perveen, a 39 year old female from Karachi, Pakistan asks on December 10, 2003,

Q:

Why do we get coloured water if we put a slice of beet root in water but we do not get coloured water if we put a piece of carrot in water?

viewed 14770 times

the answer

Barry Shell answered on December 11, 2003, A:

The coloured chemical in carrots is beta carotene which is not very water soluble. In other words it's kind of oily. Oil and water do not mix. The red colour of beets is from anthocyanin which is soluble in water. If you put sliced carrots and beets in some clear vegetable oil you might get the opposite effect--although the anthocyanin might also be somewhat solouble in oil so it might not work perfectly. For sure you will get a yellow/orange tinge to the oil from the beta carotene in carrots if you have small pieces and you leave it in long enough, maybe heat it a bit.

Add to or comment on this answer using the form below.
(required)
(required if you would like a response)
Note: All submissions are moderated prior to posting.
If you found this answer useful, please consider making a small donation to science.ca.