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Harmful Metals Found In Brazilian Chocolate Products

September 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Traces of potentially harmful metals are making their way into Brazilian chocolate products, scientists report in a new study. Chocolate has been praised in recent years for its healthful ingredients, especially flavonoid- and antioxidant-rich cocoa. But cocoa crops also take up cadmium and lead, naturally occurring metals that can cause serious health issues, including organ damage. The researchers analyzed 30 milk, dark and white chocolate products bought in Brazil, most of which were Brazilian. Dark chocolates were found to have the highest amounts of lead and cadmium, but all levels fell below maximum consumption limits set by Brazil, the European Union and the World Health Organization. “The results showed that chocolate might be a significant source of cadmium and lead ingestion, particularly for children,” the scientists warned.
Javier E. L. Villa et al., "Cadmium and Lead in Chocolates Commercialized in Brazil", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, September 24, 2014, © American Chemical Society
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