Analysing/preserving ink


Pygmy Octopus
I am considering doing some ink research and wondered whether anyone has a method of getting fresh ink or preserving it successfully.


Staff member
I don't know what methods could be used for preserving it for scientific research, but cuttlefish ink has been preserved to use as a writing ink since ancient times. Usually it has been dried and powdered.



Sepia elegans
Staff member
I second Adam, the easiest way to get ink is to dissect the ink sac out after death.

I have preserved some ink in the past by refrigeration and freezer methods. Due to logistics I have not been able to look at it again so I am not sure whether either method was effective.



Colossal Squid
I've looked into this in the past ( I ahd a crazy idea of making my own drawing inks!!!) any way the key ingredients to make ink and thus preserve it are

Gum arabic: Exuded by acacia (acacia senegal) and other African trees, it is a very common thickener and colloidal stabilizer. Some candies are made from up to 45% gum arabic. Also called acacia. CAS 9000-01-5: Gum acacia; gum arabic; acacia gum; Indian gum.

Ferrous sulfate: Also known as kankatum, green vitriol or copperas.
(FeSO4, 7 H2O) iron sulphate in hydrated crystal form (278.01 g/mol).

Tannin: Tannic (or gallotannic) acid, extracted by water-saturated ether from crushed gallnuts ( galls, nutgalls, or gall apples ). It is an anhydrid of gallic acid (see next): COOH.C6H2(OH)2O.COC6H2(OH)3

Gallic acid: Produced (with glucose) by the hydrolysis of tannin in acid. Used in calotype photography. C6(COOH)H(OH)3H (170.12 g/mol)

and of course the pigment, in this case the ceph ink. The only problem I can see with this is that it will change the chemical composition of the ink rendering it useless for research!!!!!! So I'd freeze or dry it.


Members online

No members online now.