Chromatography can be used to separate mixtures of coloured compounds. Mixtures that are suitable for separation by chromatography include inks, dyes and colouring agents in food.
Simple chromatography is carried out on paper. A spot of the mixture is placed near the bottom of a piece of chromatography paper and the paper is then placed upright in a suitable solvent, eg water. As the solvent soaks up the paper, it carries the mixtures with it. Different components of the mixture will move at different rates. This separates the mixture out.