Chocolate is one of the most popular treats around the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most contaminated foods. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic have been found in chocolate samples from around the world. While the levels of these heavy metals are low, they can still pose a health risk if consumed in large amounts over a long period of time.
Consumers Report has tested a range of chocolate products and found that some have higher levels of heavy metals than others. The chocolate products that tested highest for heavy metals were those made with cocoa beans that had not been properly processed or stored. Additionally, some chocolate products tested positive for heavy metals that were used as ingredients, such as cadmium in red food coloring.
Consumers Report recommends that consumers choose chocolate products that have been responsibly sourced and produced, as these products are less likely to contain high levels of heavy metals. They also advise that consumers only consume chocolate in moderation and not as a regular part of their daily diet.
Lead and Cadmium Contamination in Popular Dark Chocolate Brands
As dark chocolate becomes increasingly more popular, consumers may be worried about its heavy metal content, especially lead and cadmium. Recent investigations by Consumer Reports revealed that various top-selling dark chocolate brands contain more lead and cadmium than is generally considered safe for consumption. As a result, some chocolate brands may pose a serious health threat. Here are the brands with the highest levels of contamination, as well as some safer choices.
Dangerous Levels of Lead and Cadmium Found in Hershey’s and Theo Chocolate
Consumer Reports conducted a series of tests on different dark chocolate brands, including popular brands like Hershey’s, Theo, and Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, the tests revealed that many of the samples contained amounts of lead and cadmium that exceeded the limits the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers safe for consumption. The brand with the highest levels of contamination was Hershey’s, with nearly 50 times the FDA’s safety limits. Theo’s dark chocolate had heavy metal levels that exceeded the limits by 22 times.
Trader Joe’s and Kirkland Signature Chocolates Also Contain Harmful Levels
Trader Joe’s popular chocolate bar was discovered to contain levels of lead and cadmium that were three times the limit set by the FDA. Additionally, Kirkland Signature’s dark chocolate came in at a close second, with levels of heavy metal contamination that were about two times higher than the limit.
Safer Alternatives Include Ghiardelli, Scharffen Berger, and Valrhona
Not all dark chocolates contain unacceptable levels of lead and cadmium. Of the 30 brands tested by Consumer Reports, three brands – Ghiradelli, Scharffen Berger, and Valrhona – all had levels of contamination that were below the FDA’s limit. In addition, these brands are widely available and are popular with consumers.
Choose Dark Chocolate Brands with Care
For those who enjoy dark chocolate but are worried about its heavy metal content, it is important to choose the brands with the lowest levels of contamination. While many major brands like Hershey’s, Theo and Trader Joe’s can contain dangerous levels of lead and cadmium, other brands like Ghirardelli, Scharffen Berger, and Valrhona are safer options with much lower levels of contamination.
Shop Smart When Buying Dark Chocolate to Reduce Health Risks
When shopping for dark chocolate, consumers must be aware of which brands are safer to consume and which ones are not. The findings of Consumer Reports proved that not all dark chocolates are equal when it comes to heavy metal content, with some brands containing more lead and cadmium than is deemed safe for adult consumption. Choosing dark chocolate with low levels of contamination and following the FDA’s guidelines for safe levels of ingestion can help ensure that everybody is able to enjoy their favorite dark chocolate without worrying about potential health risks.