Qualitative testing for lipids

Updated July 19, 2017

Lipids are a group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, and fat-soluble vitamins among others. In essence, all fat is a lipid but not all lipids are fats. To find out what items contain lipids, there are several tests that can be run.

Translucency test

This test involves a piece of filter paper and a hotplate and ether. Take the piece of filter paper and place a drop of the test solution on it. Then place the filter paper on the hotplate and heat to 60 degrees Celsius or 60 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes. Remove the filter paper and immerse in ether. After the paper is air dried, look at the spot. If the spot is translucent, there is lipids in the solution.

Solubility test

This test involves distilled water, chloroform and test tubes. Take two drops of test solution in two separate test tubes. Add 2ml of distilled water to one tube and 2ml of chloroform in the second tube. Then shake each tube. If the sample completely dissolves in chloroform but not in the distilled water, it contains lipids.

More test ideas

There are other tests that can be created to test lipids. The Emulsification test, Sudan III test, and Iodine absorption test are examples. Each reports if the sample solution used has lipids, or fat, in it.

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About the Author

Warren Bennett has been writing professionally since 2005. His work has appeared on various websites, including Random Encounters, and MMORPG. Other projects he has worked on include critiquing a game design document for Micro Forte, having a movie script reach preproduction stage and writing for various local publications. He studied mass communications at Central Arizona College.