The Chemistry of Dying Easter Eggs

Introduction

YouTube Video

Acid dye, calcium carbonate, vinegar, water, and multiple cups are the products in dying Easter eggs. Ever since I was just a young girl my family and I have dyed eggs every year for Easter. Then one day I wanted to figure out the chemistry of how the white on eggs get the different colored dyes on them! So, then I researched and I got a lot of different information!
 
Composition of ...

The main components in dying eggs:

  • Egg shell made out of Calcium Carbonate + Protein Cuticle (around the egg) (CaCO3+N2H2)

  • Water (H2O)

  • Vinegar (C2H4O2)

The dye: sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), maltodextrin (C6nH(10n+2)O(5n+1)), FD&C Yellow #5, cellulose gum (C8H15NaO8), FD&C Blue #2, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Red #3, magnesium stearate (Mg(C18H35O2)2 , zinc stearate (C36H70O4Zn), sodium lauryl sulfate (NaC12H25SO4), silicon dioxide (SiO2)



Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Vinegar (C2H4O2)

  • How it’s made: diluted liquids containing acetic acid

  • Why was it made: no record, considered to be an accident

  • Where was it made: a lot of tales that vinegar was discovered by unattended grape juice in Babylonia

  • Other information: seven different kinds

    • Three main kings

      • Malt: 2 fermentations of barley/cereals, starch has been converted to maltose

      • Sugar: 2 fold fermentations of solutions (syrup/molasses)

      • Spirit/Distilled: acetic fermentations of dilute distilled alcohol

    • Other kinds

      • Cider/Apple: 2 fold fermentations of apple/other fruit juices

      • Wine/Grape: grape juices

      • Blended: mixture of alcohol and cider stock

      • Rice/Rice Wine: mixture of sugars from rice/ concentrate of rice without distillation

Dyes

  • How to make a dyed egg: add 1 tablet in one cup, add 1 TBS of vinegar (C2H4O2), ½ room temperature of water (H2O), and 1 hard boiled egg

  • What’s in the dye: sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), maltodextrin (C6nH(10n+2)O(5n+1)), FD&C Yellow #5, cellulose gum (C8H15NaO8), FD&C Blue #2, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Red #3, magnesium stearate (Mg(C18H35O2)2 , zinc stearate (C36H70O4Zn), sodium lauryl sulfate (NaC12H25SO4), silicon dioxide (SiO2)

  • Why do you mix dye and vinegar together: to bring out the color, the longer the time the deeper the color

Chemistry's Role

Well, vinegar (C2H4O2)  releases hydrogen (H2)  ions into the water (H2O). Where vinegar needs another pair of electrons. Which is where the egg (CaCO3) + the protein cuticle (N2H2) comes into play. (The protein cuticle is on the outside of the shell, you can’t see it but it’s there because if it wasn’t then the egg couldn’t get the dye attached to it.) When the egg gets mixed together with vinegar (C2H4O2) and water (H2O) it created bubbles that are carbon dioxide (CO2). While the carbon dioxide is happening protonated, to process when adding another proton to something, is happening to the egg shell, calcium carbonate and protein cuticle (CaCO3 + N2H2) has a positive molecule and the dye has a negative molecule. The dye then takes the egg’s positive molecule, making the dye having a positive molecule, leaving the color of the dye on the egg.

How are the two main components made and are they naturally occurring or created in a lab?

  • Vinegar (C2H4O2) is made by fermentations of different dilute alcoholic liquids into a liquid that has an acetic acid. The dye is made from sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), maltodextrin (C6nH(10n+2)O(5n+1)), FD&C Yellow #5, cellulose gum (C8H15NaO8), FD&C Blue #2, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Red #3, magnesium stearate (Mg(C18H35O2)2 , zinc stearate (C36H70O4Zn), sodium lauryl sulfate (NaC12H25SO4), silicon dioxide (SiO2)
  • Both Vinegar (C2H4O2) and the dye are made in some type of lab (see above to know how they are created.)

Is the final product of dying eggs man-made?


The final product of dying eggs is man-made because you are adding the vinegar (C2H4O2), water (H2O), egg and dye all into a cup or a bowl of somesort. Then the molecules in the vinegar, water, dye, and on the egg react together to then produce a dyed egg.



Background Research

Dying Easter Eggs have been around from many many years. The oldest decorated egg was found in Africa around 60,000 years ago, the egg was an ostrich egg. The egg represents how Jesus rose from the tomb and his new life. The egg is his tomb and the inside of the egg is his life. There are many different ways to dye Easter eggs, you can dye them, use stickers, rubber bands, soak them in a designed sheet to get the design onto the egg plus many more!


Resources

http://theprovidenthomemaker.com/1/post/2010/04/why-use-vinegar-when-dying-eggs.html

how acid dye bonds with hydrogen only in an acid environment

what is happening to the egg in the dye plus water


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_egg

history of dying eggs


http://www.education.com/science-fair/article/coloring-colorfastness-art-dying/

what the egg shell is made up of


https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/eggs/explore-text.html

whats happening to the egg when in hot water


http://www.itworld.com/article/2832957/consumer-tech-science/easter-science--the-chemistry-of-egg-dying.html

video of how chemistry is involved

protein cuticle


http://humantouchofchemistry.com/know-how-vinegar-came-into-existence.htm

information about vinegar


http://www.versatilevinegar.org/faqs.html

more information about vinegar


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protonate

Definition of protonate

America’s Favorite Easter Tradition PAAS Deluxe

information about the egg dye


About the Author

Destany Benboe is a junior at Senior High School. She loves learning new things like science, math, and anything medical. Benboe is a middle child out of her older step sister and younger brother. Her dream job is to become a RN and to specialized in some type of medical profession deal with either babies, special needs, or cancer patients.
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