CR : Lead + Cadmium High In Many Dark Chocolate!

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Consumer Reports just tested 28 dark chocolate bars, and found that 23 of them had high levels of heavy metals like lead and cadmium!

 

Consumer Reports : Lead + Cadmium High In Many Dark Chocolate!

Dark chocolate has always been considered as a healthier alternative to milk chocolate, and other sweet treats; because they are lower in sugar and have more antioxidants. Unfortunately, dark chocolate is made with more cocoa solids, which is where the heavy metals like lead and cadmium reside.

Long-term exposure to lead and cadmium is bad for health, particularly for pregnant women and young children, because these heavy metals can affect brain development.

Consumer Report scientists tested 28 dark chocolate bars for lead and cadmium, and compared them to California’s maximum allowable dose level (MADL):

  • Lead : 0.5 micrograms
  • Cadmium : 4.2 micrograms

Out of the 28 dark chocolate bars they tested, only five were found to have lead and cadmium levels below the California MADL limit.

Eight chocolate bars were found to have overly high cadmium levels, while ten had overly high lead levels. The last five were the worst – with high lead and cadmium levels.

CR : Lead + Cadmium High In Many Dark Chocolate!

 

Levels Of Lead + Cadmium In 28 Dark Chocolate Bars

In the follow tables, the dark chocolate bars are listed in the order of lead level, because that heavy metal poses the greater health risk – no amount is considered safe.

Safer Choices

Brand Name Lead
(MADL %)
Cadmium
(MADL %)
Mast Organic Dark Chocolate
80% Cocoa
14% 40%
Taza
Chocolate
Organic Deliciously
Dark Chocolate
70% Cocoa
33% 74%
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate
86% Cocoa
36% 39%
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate
Twilight Delight
72% Cocoa
61% 96%
Valrhona Abinao Dark Chocolate
85% Cocoa
63% 73%

High In Cadmium

Brand Name Lead
(MADL %)
Cadmium
(MADL %)
Beyond Good Organic Pure
Dark Chocolate
70% Cocoa
42% 112%
Beyond Good Organic Pure
Dark Chocolate
80% Cocoa
42% 138%
Equal Exchange Organic Extra
Dark Chocolate
80% Cocoa
45% 120%
Lindt Excellence
Dark Chocolate
70% Cocoa
48% 116%
Scharffen
Berger
Extra Dark
Chocolate
82% Cocoa
49% 136%
Alter Eco Organic Dark
Chocolate
Classic Blackout
85% Cocoa
49% 204%
Pascha Organic
Very Dark
Chocolate
85% Cocoa
68% 253%
Dove Promises Deeper
Dark Chocolate
70% Cocoa
74% 112%

High In Lead

Brand Name Lead
(MADL %)
Cadmium
(MADL %)
Tony’s Chocolonely
Dark
Chocolate
70% Cocoa
134% 28%
Lily’s Extra Dark
Chocolate
70% Cocoa
144% 42%
Godiva Signature
Dark Chocolate
72% Cocoa
146% 25%
Chocolove Strong
Dark
Chocolate
70% Cocoa
152% 60%
Lindt Excellence
Dark Chocolate
85% Cocoa
166% 80%
Endangered
Species
Bold + Silky
Dark Chocolate
72% Cocoa
181% 31%
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate
72% Cocoa
192% 36%
Hu Organic Simple
Dark Chocolate
70% Cocoa
210% 56%
Chocolove Extreme
Dark
Chocolate
88% Cocoa
240% 83%
Hershey’s Special Dark
Mildly Sweet
Chocolate
265% 30%

High In Lead + Cadmium

Brand Name Lead
(MADL %)
Cadmium
(MADL %)
Theo Organic
Pure Dark
70% Cocoa
120% 142%
Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate
Lover’s Chocolate
85% Cocoa
127% 229%
Theo Organic Extra Pure
Dark Chocolate
85% Cocoa
140% 189%
Lily’s Extremely Dark
Chocolate
85% Cocoa
143% 101%
Green
&
Black’s
Organic Dark
Chocolate
70% Cocoa
143% 181%

 

How To Safely Consume Dark Chocolate

Even though the results are shocking, I should point out that the California MADL levels are considered particularly stringent, and occasional consumption of these chocolates are unlikely to lead to immediate harm.

These heavy metals are also present in many nutritious foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach, and no one is going to tell you to stop eating them.

Ideally, try to select dark chocolate with low levels of lead and cadmium. But if there’s no way to find out, you should be consumed them only occasionally.

You can also select dark chocolate with lower percentages of cocoa, or switch to milk chocolate which has lower cocoa content.

Do note that organic dark chocolate are not safer than regular dark chocolate. They are just as likely to have high levels of heavy metals as regular dark chocolate.

If possible, pregnant women should limit their consumption of dark chocolate, and it’s best to reduce or limit the amount of dark chocolate given to children.

Finally, milk chocolate and cocoa products, including Milo, chocolate desserts and cakes, all have cocoa content. Reducing their consumption will help to reduce your consumption of heavy metals.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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