I found a note the other day, that said Tonic water glows under black light. A quick check at Wikipedia, shows that it's the Quinine that flouresces. B2 also flouresces. Are there any other edible substances that flouresce?

We made some Jello with Tonic Water, and while the kids found it inedible, it did look cool under black light. (Hint: use light coloured jello over dark colored to see this better.) Curious if there's a way to make glowing jello that tastes decent.

2 Answers 2


I've heard that you can extract oils from leafy greens and once concentrated will provide a reddish tint/glow under a black light. The problem is it may not be any more palatable over gelatin. Your best bet may be to go with mint, but I'm sure most aromatic herbs would work.

Start by blanching a couple of handfuls your chosen greens for a few minutes followed by an ice water bath. Once cooled dry the greens and blend with just barely enough light vegetable oil to make it bind. Think pesto. Keep blending, your goal here is to really break up the cell walls so that the greens will release their oils. Press and strain the mixture retaining the herb oil. Use as appropriate. Maybe mixed into a whipped cream topping for the jello.

It may also be possible to create a tincture of those herbs with a clear alcohol that will glow, but obviously you don't want to give that to the kids either.

Beyond that overripe bananas give off a slight blue glow, but probably not enough to be remarkable.

  • Any idea what substance/chemical in those greens that would cause a red glow under black light? It ain't B2!!
    – John
    Nov 19, 2012 at 4:08
  • I'm afraid I do not. A quick search with Google shows some results that claims it is the chlorophyll that does it. Even though I have nothing to back it up that seems unlikely to me. If it were the case I'd think unprocessed leaves would glow. Also, as a hobbyist beekeeper knowing that bees find flowers with markers visible in the UV spectrum it would seem unlikely that leaves would have such a high concentration of UV reflecting chemicals if it were all the actions of the chlorophyll... I guess what I'm saying is I haven't the foggiest.
    – rheone
    Nov 20, 2012 at 4:51

Turmeric, especially fresh, has some flourescent properties... and saffron might also.

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