Heavy metals found in dark chocolate. How can you eat it safely?

Verified on 01/23/2023 by PasseportSanté
Des métaux lourds retrouvés dans le chocolat noir. Comment en manger sans danger ?

According to a recent survey by an American consumer association, many dark chocolate bars contain heavy metals.

In particular, researchers warn of the presence of lead and cadmium, compounds that are hazardous to health.

Cadmium and lead found in dark chocolate bars

An American consumer association has investigated the composition of dark chocolate bars.

A total of 28 dark chocolate bars from different brands (sold in the USA and Europe, such as Lindt and Tony’s) were analyzed by the experts.

Published on December 15, 2022 in the American magazine Consumer Reports, the results of the analyses showed the presence of heavy metals in all the products. Among the heavy metals found were cadmium and lead.

According to the authors of the survey,  » eating just one ounce (about 29 grams or a square of chocolate) a day would put an adult above a level that may be harmful for at least one of these heavy metals « .

Read also:

The origin of lead and cadmium in cocoa

How did heavy metals end up in cocoa?

According to the authors of the survey, cadmium is found in large quantities in dark chocolate because it has been absorbed by cocoa plants, which are close to the ground.

As for lead levels, they increase when the beans are dried in the sun for several days.

It is for these reasons that  » the fight against contamination of dark chocolate must start at the planting and harvesting stages », warn the researchers.

The dangers of heavy metals

Exposure to heavy metals is not without health consequences.

Lead, for example, can cause  » nervous system problems, hypertension, weakening of the immune system, kidney damage and reproductive problems in adults », explains Prof. Tunde Akinleye, lead author of the study.

In pregnant women and children, the specialist points out that heavy metals « can cause developmental problems « . According to researchers, « the younger you are, the greater the threat of heavy metals « .

To this end, they recommend reducing « total chocolate consumption » and even cocoa powder and chocolate desserts.