Bismarck brown Y is a small molecule chemical dye. It is composed of a central benzene ring attached to two other benzene rings via azo groups, or nitrogen nitrogen double bonds. Because of all of these aromatic pi cloud electrons, bismarck brown Y has interesting light absorbance properties. As a result, the chemical can absorb all wavelengths of visible light except a combination that produces the color brown. Brown is a tertiary color resulting from a mix of three colors cyan, magenta, and yellow. So the other colors are absorbed and the mix of brown is reflected from the chemical, thus giving the brown appearance.