July 16, 2024

We discovered final 12 months from Shopper Reviews’ testing that darkish chocolate will be contaminated with heavy metals. Now, the nonprofit stated these heavy metals have been present in different kinds of chocolate, in addition to merchandise made with cocoa powder reminiscent of brownie and cake mixes. 

The group examined 48 totally different merchandise in seven totally different classes: cocoa powder, chocolate chips, milk chocolate bars and mixes for brownies, chocolate cake and scorching chocolate. Researchers appeared for the presence of lead and cadmium, the 2 mostly present in cacao merchandise, in addition to mercury and arsenic. 

Shopper Reviews stated they discovered regarding ranges of lead and cadmium in a 3rd of the merchandise examined. Not one of the merchandise posed a danger of arsenic or mercury publicity, Shopper Reviews stated. 

The scientists measured heavy metallic content material in opposition to California’s normal ranges as a result of there are not any federal limits for the quantity of lead and cadmium most meals can include. 

“Each product we examined had detectable quantities of lead and cadmium,” stated James E. Rogers, director and performing head of product security testing at Shopper Reviews. “Sixteen of the 48 merchandise had quantities above CR’s ranges of concern for not less than one of many heavy metals — in some circumstances greater than twice our restrict — however we did discover safer choices in every class of chocolate merchandise.”

The outcomes from the new chocolate product testing have been maybe probably the most shocking, contemplating the mixes embody sugar and different components along with cocoa powder. However 4 of the six mixes Shopper Reviews examined exceeded their restrict for lead, together with Nice Worth (Walmart) Milk Chocolate Taste Scorching Cocoa Combine, Nestlé Wealthy Milk Chocolate Scorching Cocoa Combine, Starbucks Scorching Cocoa Traditional Combine and Dealer Joe’s Natural Scorching Cocoa Combine. 

For chocolate chips, solely two of the merchandise examined had excessive lead content material — Hu Darkish Chocolate Gems and Good & Collect (Goal) Semi-Candy Mini Chocolate Chips — in accordance with Shopper Reviews. 

Solely three of the brownie and cake mixes by Shopper Reviews confirmed excessive ranges of lead. 

Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder and Droste cacao powder have been the one two of their class that examined excessive for lead content material, Shopper Reviews stated. 

Not one of the merchandise examined within the milk chocolate bar class had excessive ranges of lead or cadmium, in accordance with Shopper Reviews. 

Analysis signifies that lead and cadmium get into cocoa in numerous methods, Shopper Reviews stated. For cadmium, it seems that the cocoa plant takes it up from the soil. Lead will be deposited on the cocoa beans after harvest, probably from mud and soil as beans dry open air. 

The metals are each discovered within the cocoa solids — which, together with cocoa butter, make up cacao. Shopper Reviews stated that’s why merchandise wealthy in cocoa solids, reminiscent of darkish chocolate, are usually larger in these metals.

Shopper Reviews stated heavy metals linked to severe well being issues will be discovered in lots of meals and ingesting water, so you will need to know which meals include them to restrict your total consumption. 

The group is now calling on Hershey, the biggest chocolate maker within the U.S., to make their merchandise safer. 

Whereas Hershey didn’t reply to Shopper Reviews’ requests on their most up-to-date analysis, the nonprofit’s director of meals coverage, Brian Ronholm, stated, “Earlier this 12 months, a Hershey government acknowledged that the corporate continues to search for methods to take away extra of the metals via further cleansing and alternate sourcing. We want for them to honor that dedication.”

Shopper Reviews has now began an on-line petition asking Hershey to publicly decide to a timeline exhibiting how it will cut back heavy metals in its merchandise. 

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