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Maria Feliza C. Abesamis, Marie Em Clarisse P. Acosta, Francheska M. Agustin,
Mary Christelle G. Aquitania and Marilu Jane H. Bagsican
Group 1 2E Medical Technology Biochemistry Laboratory

The experiment was about extraction of total lipids from chicken egg yolk, column chromatography of lipids and
qualitative tests for lipids. Total lipids were extracted from the chicken egg yolk using 1M NaCl, isopropyl alcohol and
petroleum ether. The mixture was left standing for five minutes. The lower layer was collected and subjected into
column chromatography. The column used for column chromatography was packed with slurry of 0.5 g silica gel in 4
ml of petroleum ether with tapered end glass wool. For this experiment, the column was washed three times using
different eluents. The first eluent used was of 9:1 mixture of petroleum ether and ethyl ether, the second eluent was 5
ml 5% methanol in dichloromethane and the last eluent was 5ml CH 2Cl2: CH3OH: H2O (1:3:1). Eluates for each eluent
introduced into the column were collected in separate test tubes. Collected eluates were subjected for the qualitative
tests for lipids. 10 drops of eluates were subjected for each qualitative test. The qualitative tests performed were as
follows: test for ester, test for glycerol also known as acrolein test, test for phosphate, test for cholesterol also known
as Liebermann-Burchard test, test for Test for - amino acids (Ninhydrin Test) and test for lipid unsaturation with
bromine. Test for esters yielded a yellow solution for the first and second eluate and a burgundy solution for the third
eluate. Test for glycerol produced no odor for the three eluates. Test for phosphate produced a turbid solution for the
first eluate, formed white/ slightly yellowish crystals for the second eluate and turbid yellow with crystals for the third
eluate. Test for cholesterol or Liebermann-Burchard test did not show any color change for the first and third eluate
while it produced a green color on the second eluate. Test for Ninhydrin formed a red orange solution for the first
eluate and no color change in the second and third eluates. Triglyceride or triacylglycerol, cholesterol and phospholipid
(Lecithin) were the first second and third eluates identified respectively. In the test for lipid unsaturation with bromine,
10 drops in the first, second and third eluates, 22 drops in coconul oil, 71 drops in canola oil, 90 drops in corn oil, 74
drops in olive oil and 8 drops in vegetable oil of 5% of Br2 in CH2Cl were added before reddish brown color persisted.

Lipids are substances found in living
organisms that are insoluble in water but soluble
in non polar solvents and solvents of low polarity.
This lack of solubility in water is an important
property because our body chemistry is so firmly
based on water. Most body constituents including
carbohydrates which are soluble in water. But the
body also needs insoluble compounds for many
compartments containing aqueous solutions from
each other, thats where lipids come in.
The water-insolubility of lipids is due to
the fact that the polar groups they contain are
much smaller than their alkane-like (nonpolar)
portions. These nonpolar portions provide the
water-repellent, or hydrophobic, property.
An important use for lipids, especially in
animals, is storage of energy. Plant store energy
in form of starch. Animals including

humans find it more economical to use lipids

(fats) instead. Although our bodies do store some

carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for quick

energy when we need it, energy stored in the
form of fats is much more important. The reason
is simply that the burning of fats produces more
than twice as much energy as burning of an
equal weight of carbohydrates.

Composition of Chicken Egg Yolk

The yolk makes up about 33% of the
approximately 60 calories, three times the caloric
content of the egg white.
One large egg (50 grams in weight, 17
gram yolk) contains approximately: 2.7g protein,
210 mg cholesterol, 0.61g carbohydrates and
4.51g total fat. (USDA National Nutrient
All of the fat soluble vitamins, (A, D, E and
K) are found in the egg yolk. Egg yolks are one of
the few foods naturally containing vitamin D.

The composition (by weight) of the most

prevalent fatty acids in egg yolk is typically as

equilibrium established between the solute

adsorbed on the silica gel or alumina and the
eluting solvent flowing down through the column.

Unsaturated fatty acids:

Stationary phase (adsorbent)

Oleic acid 47 %
Linoleic acid 16 %

Palmitoleic acid 5 %

Linolenic acid 2 %

The stationary phase or adsorbent in

column chromatography is a solid. The most
chromatography is silica gel, followed by alumina.
Cellulose powder has often been used in the past.
chromatography (RP), affinity chromatography or
expanded bed adsorption (EBA). The stationary
phases are usually finely ground powders or gels
and/or are microporous for an increased surface,
though in EBA a fluidized bed is used.

Saturated fatty acids:

Palmitic acid 23 %
Stearic acid 4 %

Myristic acid 1 %

Egg yolk is a source of lecithin, an emulsifier

and surfactant. The yellow color is caused by
lutein and zeaxanthin, which are yellow or orange
carotenoids known as xanthophylls.

Figure 1. Chicken egg yolk

Column Chromatography

Figure 2. Column Chromatography

Mobile phase (eluent)

Column chromatography is one of the

most useful methods for the separation and
purification of both solids and liquids when
carrying out small-scale experiments. Column
chromatography is another solid-liquid technique
in which the two phases are a solid (stationary
phase) and a liquid (moving phase). The theory
of column chromatography is analogous to that of
thin-layer chromatography. The most common
adsorbents - silica gel and alumina - are the
same ones used in TLC. The sample is dissolved
in a small quantity of solvent (the eluent) and
applied to the top of the column. The eluent,
instead of rising by capillary action up a thin
layer, flows down through the column filled with
the adsorbent. Just as in TLC, there is an

The mobile phase or eluent is either a

pure solvent or a mixture of different solvents. It
is chosen so that the retention factor value of the
compound of interest is roughly around 0.2 - 0.3
in order to minimize the time and the amount of
eluent to run the chromatography. The eluent has
also been chosen so that the different compounds
can be separated effectively. The eluent is
optimized in small scale pretests, often using thin
layer chromatography (TLC) with the same
stationary phase.
A faster flow rate of the eluent minimizes
the time required to run a column and thereby

minimizes diffusion, resulting in a better

separation, see Van Deemter's equation. A simple
laboratory column runs by gravity flow. The flow
rate of such a column can be increased by
extending the fresh eluent filled column above
the top of the stationary phase or decreased by
the tap controls. Better flow rates can be
achieved by using a pump or by using
compressed gas (e.g. air, nitrogen, or argon) to
push the solvent through the column (flash
column chromatography).
The particle size of the stationary phase is
generally finer in flash column chromatography
than in gravity column chromatography. For
example, one of the most widely used silica gel
grades in the former technique is mesh 230
400 (40 63 m), while the latter technique
typically requires mesh 70 230 (63 200 m)
silica gel.
A spreadsheet that assists in the
successful development of flash columns has
been developed. The spreadsheet estimates the
retention volume and band volume of analytes,
the fraction numbers expected to contain each
analyte, and the resolution between adjacent
peaks. This information allows users to select
separations before the flash column itself is

The following were used for the

Extraction of total lipids from chicken egg
yolk: Chicken egg yolk, 5 volumes of 1M
NaCl, 3ml isopropyl alcohol and 2ml
petroleum ether.

3. Column Chromatography of Lipids

The following were used for the column
chromatography of lipids: extracted total
lipids from chicken egg yolk, 0.5 g silica gel,
4ml of petroleum ether, 5ml of 9:1 mixture
of petroleum ether and ethyl ether, 5 ml 5%
methanol in dichloromethane, and 5ml
CH2Cl2: CH3OH: H2O (1:3:1).

4. Test for Ester

The following were used for the test for
ester: EtOH: 0.5 ml of 1-BuOH (3:1) with
10 drops of eluate, EtOH: 0.5 ml of 1-BuOH
(3:1), 2 drops each of 2M hydroxylamine
hydrochloride and 3M NaOH, 2 drops of 6M
HCl, 1 drop of 5% FeCl3. 6 H2O in 0.1M HCl.

5. Test for Glycerol (Acrolein Test)

The following were used for the test for
glycerol (Acrolein Test): 10 drops of eluate
and pinch amount of KHSO4.

The objectives of the experiment are as

follows: (1) to extract total lipids from chicken
egg yolk, (2) to analyze the lipids present in the
crude extract using column chromatography (3)
to identify lipids present in each of the fractions
using qualitative tests and, (4) to determine the
degree of unsaturation of lipids by bromine test.

6. Test for Phosphate


7. Test for Cholesterol

Burchard Test)


1. Samples to be tested:
The following samples were subjected
to test using column chromatography and
qualitative test for lipids: Chicken egg yolk,
Coconut oil, Canola oil, Corn oil, Olive Oil,
Vegetable oil, Cholesterol and Lecithin.

2. Extraction of total
chicken egg yolk



The following were used for the test for

phosphate: 10 drops of eluate, 0.5 ml of
10% Mg(NO3)2, 6H2O in 95% EtOH,
Mg(NO3)2, 0.5 ml of 2M HCL, 0.5ml of 6%
(NH4)2MoO4 and 4M HNO3.


The following were used for the test for

cholesterol (Lieberman-Burchard Test): 10
drops of eluate, 0.25 ml CHCl 3, 6 drops of
concentrated H2SO4.

8. Test for - amino acids (Ninhydrin

The following were used for the test amino acids (Ninhydrin Test): 10 drops of
eluate and 5-8 drops of ninhydrin reagent.

9. Test for Lipid Unsaturation with

The following were used for the lipid
unsaturation test with bromine: 10 drops of
eluate, 3ml CH2Cl2, 5% Br2 in CH2Cl2, 8 drops
each of coconut, canola, corn and olive oil.


1. Extraction of Total Lipids from
Chicken Egg Yolk
The egg yolk was separated from the
chicken egg and its volume was determined.
It was then diluted with 5 volumes of 1M
NaCl. After dilution, 2ml of the diluted egg
yolk was mixed with 3ml isopropyl alcohol in
a separate clean test tube. Petroleum ether
with a volume of 2 ml was then added. It
was covered with rubber stopper and was
ensured to be well mixed. The mixture was
then allowed to stand for 5 minutes until
two layers were formed. After 5 minutes,
the lower layer was collected and was
transferred to another clean test tube. Twodimensional thin layer chromatography
(TLC) and column chromatography (CC)
was performed using the lower layer.

2. Column Chromatography of Lipids

Small column was prepared by pouring
a slurry of 0.5 g silica gel in 4ml of
petroleum ether into the glass column
(Pasteur pipette) with a
tapered end
plugged with glass wool. The lipid extract
from chicken egg yolk with a volume of 1 ml
was then introduced into the column, saving
the run-through in a clean test tube. The
column was washed with 5ml 9:1 mixture of
petroleum ether and ethyl ether, collecting
the eluate in the same tube as the runthrough. The column was again washed with
the second eluent (5 ml 5% methanol in
dichloromethane) the eluate was then
collected in another clean test tube. The
column was washed with the last eluent,
5ml CH2Cl2: CH3OH: H2O (1:3:1) and eluate
was collected in another test tube. The
different eluates culled were saved for
qualitative analysis.

3. Test for Ester

EtOH: 1-BuOH (3:1) with a volume of

0.5 ml was introduced into the 10 drops of
eluate. 2 drops each of 2M hydroxylamine
sequentially added and was mixed well. The
samples were allowed to stand for 5
minutes. 2 drops of 6M HCl was added with
1 drop of 5% FeCl3. 6 H2O in 0.1M HCl and
was ensured to be well-mixed. Color was
noted. Samples with positive results gave a
burgundy color.

4. Test for Glycerol (Acrolein Test)

A pinch amount of KHSO 4 was added
to 10 drops of the eluate in the test tube.
Test tube was heated in a boiling water bath
and odor produced was noted. Burned fat
odor was observed for positive test results.

5. Test for Phosphate

A volume of 0.5 ml of 10% Mg(NO 3)2
with 6H2O in 95% EtOH was added with 10
drops of eluate. The test tube was placed in
a boiling water bath until the solvent was
decomposed. The test tube was removed
from the bath when the white residue was
formed and brown gas stopped evolving.
2M HCL with a volume of 0.5ml was
added and was mixed to dissolve the solid
residue. Test tube was then heated in a
boiling water bath for 5 minutes. 0.5ml of
6% (NH4)2MoO4 was added with 4M HNO 3.
Color change was noted. Positive results for
this test were formation of a yellow color
followed by formation of a fine yellow
precipitate. This indicated the presence of

6. Test for Cholesterol (LiebermanBurchard Test)

A volume of 0.25 ml CHCl3 was
introduced into the 10 drops of eluate. 6
drops of acetic anhydride was then added
with 2 drops of concentrated H2SO4 and well
mixed. Color was noted. Positive results
produced a greenish color which indicated
the presence of cholesterol.

7. Test for - amino acids (Ninhydrin

In a clean test tube, 5-8 drops of
ninhydrin reagent was introduced into the
10 drops of eluate. It was subjected into
heat in the boiling water bath for 15-20
secs. The color produced was observed.
Positive results yielded a formation of blue
violet color which indicated the presence of
- amino acids.

8. Test for Lipid Unsaturation with

A volume of 3ml CH2Cl2 was added into
10 drops of eluate was placed in a test
tube. The solution was ensured to be well
mixed. 5% of Br2 were added drop wise
with CH2Cl2 into the test tube. Solution was
shaken after each addition until reddish
brown color persisted. Number of drops was
noted upon the addition of 5% Br 2 in CH2Cl2.
Procedure was repeated and result was
compared with the following: 8 drops each
of coconut, canola, corn and olive oil.


Table 1. Summarized Positive results for each Qualitative Test for Lipids

Chemical Test

Positive Result


Burgundy color

Glycerol (Acrolein Test)

Burned fat odor


Fine yellow precipitate

Cholesterol (LiebermannBurchard Test)

Greenish color

- amino acids (Ninhydrin


Blue violet color








Turbid solution

No color

Red orange




White crystals


No color

3rd eluate



Turbid yellow
with crystals


No color

Chemical Test


Table 2. Actual Results for each Qualitative Test for Lipids:

Table 1 shows the positive results for each

qualitative test performed on lipids while Table 2
shows the actual results for each qualitative
performed in lipids. The principles or mechanisms
behind each qualitative test are as follows:

Test for Ester

Esterification is the general name for a
chemical reaction in which two reactants
(typically an alcohol and an acid) form an ester
as the reaction product. Esters are common in
organic chemistry and biological materials, and
often have a characteristic pleasant, fruity odor.
This leads to their extensive use in the fragrance
and flavor industry. Ester bonds are also found in
many polymers.
Esterification is a reversible reaction.
Hydrolysisliterally "water splitting"involves
adding water and a catalyst (commonly NaOH) to
an ester to get the sodium salt of the carboxylic
acid and alcohol. As a result of this reversibility,
many esterification reactions are equilibrium
reactions and therefore need to be driven to
completion according to Le Chatelier's principle.
Esterifications are among the simplest and most
often performed organic transformations.
The most common esterification processes
involve nucleophilic acyl substitution where the
carbonyl compound is used as an electrophile and
is attacked by a nucleophilic alcohol. However,
other processes are possible; esterification by
alkylation reverses the roles of "classic" carbonyl
chemistry: a carboxylate anion is used as a
nucleophile that displaces a halide ion in an SN2
Acid hydrolysis using sulphuric acid and
water (equilibrium reaction). The ester splits into
a carboxylic acid and alcohol, protons are
donated from the acid. The solution can then be
distilled and the remaining acid can be checked
using UV indicator.
Positive results for the test for ester yields
a burgundy color. Based on Table 2, the first and
second eluate yielded yellow solution which is a
negative result for ester while the third eluate
gave a burgundy solution which is a positive
result and shows the presence of ester.

Test for Glycerol (Acrolein Test)

Acrolein test is a test for the presence of

glycerin or fats. A sample is heated with
potassium bisulfate, and acrolein is released if
the test is positive. When a fat is heated strongly
in the presence of a dehydrating agent such as
KHSO4, the glycerol portion of the molecule is
dehydrated to form the unsaturated aldehyde,
acrolein (CH2=CH-CHO), which has the peculiar
odor of burnt grease.
Based on the results that were culled
(Table 2), the first second and third eluate did not
produce any odor hence indicates the absence of
glycerol for each eluates.

Test for Phosphate

The presence of free phosphate in acidic
solution can be detected by adding a molybdate
to the solution. The equation below illustrates the
pertinent reaction between phosphate and
ammonium molybdate solution in the presence of
nitric acid (HNO3).
HPO42-(aq) + 12 MoO42-(aq) + 3 NH4+(aq) + 23
H3O+(aq) -> (NH4)3[P(Mo3O10)4] (yellow)+35
Yellow precipitate results from the reaction
in the mixture. When lipids containing phosphate
groups in their structures are added to strong
acid solution such as the solution used, the lipid
hydrolyses, producing free phosphate, forming a
yellow precipitate.
Based on the results that were culled
(Table 2), the first eluate produced a turbid
solution, the second eluate produced white
crystals which is slightly yellowish and the third
eluate produced turbid yellow crystals.

Test for cholesterol (LiebermanBurchard Test)

anhydride test is used for the detection of
cholesterol. The formation of a green or greenblue color after a few minutes is positive.
Lieberman-Burchard is a reagent used in a
colorimetric test to detect cholesterol, which
gives a deep green color. This color begins as a
purplish, pink color and progresses through to a
light green then very dark green color. The color
is due to the hydroxyl group (-OH) of cholesterol
reacting with the reagents and increasing the

conjugation of the un-saturation in the adjacent

fused ring.
Based on the results that were culled
(Table 2), the first and third eluate did not
produce any change in color. The second eluate
produced a greenish color which indicated the
presence of cholesterol.

Test for - amino acids Ninhydrin Test

The principle involved in this test is
decarboxylation. It is used to detect the presence
of - amino acids. Positive result for this test is
Blue-violet solution.
Based on the results that were culled
(Table 2), the first eluate produced a red orange
solution while the second and third eluate did not
produced any change in color.
The eluates identified based
chemical test performed are as follows:
1st eluate:




3rd eluate: phospholipid (Lecithin)






Vegetable oil

Olive oil

Corn oil

Canola oil

Coconut oil




Bettelheim,F.A., March,J. (1990). Introduction to
organic and biochemistry. Philadelphia:
Saunders College.
Heftman, E. (1967). Chromatography. New York:
Reinhold Publishing Corporation


Table 3 Actual Results for Lipid

Unsaturation with Bromine:



McKee. (2003). Biochemistry: The Molecular

Basis of Life. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

eluate: cholesterol

# of
drops of

Possible sources of errors for the

experiment were the use of incorrect or wrong
reagents and the lack of precision and accuracy
in measuring samples or reagents.

Lehninger, A.L. (2008). Legninger Principles of

Biochemistry. New York: W.H. Freeman.



bromine it absorbs. Based on the results that

were culled (table 3), The order from the most
unsaturated to least unsaturated are as follows:
Corn Oil, Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Coconut Oil, 1 st 2nd
and 3rd eluates (which are on the same level),
and finally Vegetable Oil.

Table 3 shows the actual results for lipid

unsaturation with bromine. The test for
unsaturation with bromine identifies the level of
saturation and the number of bonds an oil, fat or
lipid has. The more unsaturated, multi-bonded,
the lipid is, the more it absorbs bromine. The less

Analysis of Lipids Egg Yolk and Milk
Retrieved: March 8, 2010
Column Chromatography
Retrieved: March 8, 2010
Lipid Library
Retrieved: March 8, 2010