Salkowski test (for cholesterol)

Salkowski test (for cholesterol)


Salkowski test is used to detect cholesterol in a solution. This test is named after a German biochemist Ernst Leopold Salkowski.  Cholesterol solution in chloroform when shaken with equal volumes of concentrated sulphuric acid and layers allowed to separate by standing, the chloroform layer turns red.


  • Cholesterol solution
  • Chloroform
  • Concentrated Sulphuric acid

Sample preparation:

  • Separate the egg yolk (yellow part) of a boiled egg and grind it with about 50 ml of chloroform in a mortar.
  • Filter the suspension through a filter paper.
  • The filtrate is the cholesterol solution. The egg yolk is the rich source of cholesterol.


  • Take 1 ml of cholesterol solution in chloroform in a dry test tube.
  • Add 1 ml of concentrated sulphuric acid. The two layers do not mix.
  • Shake the tube to mix the two layers.
  • The upper layer i.e. chloroform layer turns red.
  • The lower layer i.e sulphuric acid layer turns yellow colour with green fluorescence.


  • The upper layer consisting of chloroform becomes bluish-red to cherry-red, whereas the layer of sulphuric acid becomes yellow with green fluorescence.


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