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ERIC Number: EJ1062361
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Phospholipids, Dietary Supplements, and Chicken Eggs: An Inquiry-Based Exercise Using Thin-Layer Chromatography
Potteiger, Sara E.; Belanger, Julie M.
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n5 p896-899 May 2015
This inquiry-based experiment is designed for organic or biochemistry undergraduate students to deduce the identity of phospholipids extracted from chicken eggs and dietary supplements. This is achieved using thin-layer chromatography (TLC) data, a series of guided questions of increasing complexity, and provided relative retention factor (Rf) values for phospohlipids. Colorful visualization agents are used that selectively reveal phospholipids with specific functional groups on TLC plates. The novelty in this experiment lies in the students' ability to use the colorful patterns on the developed plates and compare the spot locations to a list of Rf values without the need for phospholipid standards. Furthermore, the use of krill oil and fish oil provide a unique aspect where an additive purported to be a good source of phospholipids, krill oil, is tested against fish oil (seemingly similar, yet negative for phospholipids). A prelaboratory assignment familiarizes students with concepts of TLC and phospholipids. The experiment takes two, 3 h laboratory periods to complete, but with specific modifications, can be completed in one, 3 h period.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A