5

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Is it true that chocolate contains lead?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 16, 2010 at 7:23 AM

I read recently that chocolate contains high levels of lead - is this true? Is it found in only some types of chocolate, how does it get there and should we (and our children) be avoiding it because of its lead content?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 16, 2010
at 05:22 PM

Hi Alan. I have two different recipes. One uses nibs. The other uses cocoa powder and coconut oil. I definitely prefer the nibs. If you have a food processor, stick the nibs in there and process! Process until they get pasty and smoothish. They'll get warm too. When they're somewhat smooth, add the sweetener of your choice (I use stevia; but you could use honey or molasses or plain ole sugar). Simply sweeten to taste! When it's smooth(ish), drop it by a tiny spoonful onto parchment paper and put in the freezer to harden. When hard, store in an airtight container in the fridge.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 16, 2010
at 05:22 PM

Thanks Louisa! I mistyped. I said tempering but I was actually referring to the conching and refining process as outlined here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Chocolate

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on April 16, 2010
at 11:38 AM

Hi gilliebean, I would love to know your recipe for your homemade chocolate with nibs and with coco powder and coconut oil. I have some nibs that I can experiment with. Thanks,

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8 Answers

5
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on April 16, 2010
at 06:05 PM

Chocolate and cocoa powders do appear to contain some lead. However the research on the subject seems very limited.

This study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16203244 found high levels in many chocolate and cocoa products and concluded that the contamination occured during transport and processing.

Then this more recent research http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20020692 determined that the lead is taken up from the soil. More importantly it also concluded that the contribution of lead from cocoa products in the US diet is small.

However earlier research http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12775476 on the amount of lead absorbed concluded that it is small. The lead in cocoa is largely bound into complexes that are not bioavailable and that only about 10% of the lead is released under biologically realistc conditions.

In summary:

  • There is lead in chocolate and cocoa.
  • The contribution of chocolate and cocoa to overall lead intake in the US is small.
  • Very little of the lead from chocolate is absorbed by the body.

I will keep eating my dark chocolate and not worry about it :)

4
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 16, 2010
at 08:01 AM

According to this article:

"...most [lead] contamination occurs during shipping or processing of the beans and in manufacturing."

From what I can tell, cocoa beans themselves (raw cacao) have a very low occurance of lead. It is the consumer products that have been contaminated by lead.

I've stopped buying commercial chocolate - mostly because of the sugar content. I make my own chocolate! I use raw cacao nibs or the actual beans (cheaper) that I roast and make into nibs (when in season). I grind those up real good until they're pasty and then I add stevia and other spices to taste. I don't have a way to temper or refine it, but I like the gritty texture. Feels real somehow. And no lead!

When cacao beans are no longer in season I use a recipe of cocoa powder and coconut oil with stevia as a sweetener and a touch of vanilla. It's a great way to get more coconut oil into my diet! And cinnamon. :)

Try finding cacao nibs (or whole cacao beans) from which to make your chocolate treats.

P.S.Here's another article about lead content in cocoa to read.

P.P.S. Here's an article about how to make your own chocolate!

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on April 16, 2010
at 11:38 AM

Hi gilliebean, I would love to know your recipe for your homemade chocolate with nibs and with coco powder and coconut oil. I have some nibs that I can experiment with. Thanks,

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 16, 2010
at 05:22 PM

Hi Alan. I have two different recipes. One uses nibs. The other uses cocoa powder and coconut oil. I definitely prefer the nibs. If you have a food processor, stick the nibs in there and process! Process until they get pasty and smoothish. They'll get warm too. When they're somewhat smooth, add the sweetener of your choice (I use stevia; but you could use honey or molasses or plain ole sugar). Simply sweeten to taste! When it's smooth(ish), drop it by a tiny spoonful onto parchment paper and put in the freezer to harden. When hard, store in an airtight container in the fridge.

1
Medium avatar

(7073)

on April 16, 2010
at 04:42 PM

how to temper chocolate:

Place the raw chocolate in a heat-proof dish, stand dish in pan of simmering water and heat over low flame until chocolate has melted, raise the temperature up to 45c/113F and stir, then stand the bowl in a pan of cold water until chocolate reaches 25c/77F, then place it back in the boiling water and heat to 30c/86F.

Then the chocolate has been tempered.

(From the recipe book from the film Chocolat)

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 16, 2010
at 05:22 PM

Thanks Louisa! I mistyped. I said tempering but I was actually referring to the conching and refining process as outlined here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Chocolate

0
Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on May 17, 2011
at 02:53 AM

My sister works in government lead monitoring. She told me that a few years ago they came down on Dagoba for having excess lead. Apparently the problem is fixed now.

0
7936ae4e1fd4ae3c59695bc0f2e19be5

on May 16, 2011
at 07:48 PM

It is true...the lead in chocolate is more attributed to the use of leaded gasoline in third world countries. Studies have been avoided on the issue merely because of two factors.

Affluent companies have involved themselves by having alternate studies done that claim that lead in chocolate is mainly attributed to normal production methods (unfounded) and that the amount of lead is minute and minuscule and non-harmful. They state that in fact, you would have to gluttonously eat chocolate everyday of the week to suffer any problem with lead poising.

In truth, that is partially true, but cases have been reported where chocolate enthusiasts have been found to suffer from light cases of such said poisoning and it was attributed to unhealthy habits, suggesting "hot chocolate" consumption, candies, candy bars, cakes, and baked goods in an abundance.

The very fact of the matter is that the use of leaded gasoline in Africa and its continued use causes leaded rainfall, just as we suffer from acid rains which bleach or forests. Africa produces 73% of all the cocoa the world uses. The lead in the rainfall leeches into the fauna, and through "capillary injection" the cocoa plants sends that lead to the cocoa bean on it's stalks. In production, that lead is naturally transferred into the chocolate product that is made. So as you see, Nestle's had only told a half-lie.

It is a very difficult problem to resolve since you are talking about making third world countries convert over to unleaded gasoline, and there is little pressure that can be applied to do so. Secondly:

Chocolate producers in America realize this problem, but are unwilling and strongly opposed to any news or studies generated to deal with the issue...Nestle's 2009 annual profit report is as follows:

http://www.nestle.com/Common/NestleDocuments/Documents/Library/Documents/Annual_Reports/2010-Annual-Report-EN.pdf

Earnings

In 2009, consolidated sales were CHF 107.6 billion and net profit was CHF 10.43 billion. Research and development investment was CHF 2.02 billion.[12] Sales by activity breakdown: 27% from drinks, 26% from dairy and food products, 18% from ready-prepared dishes and ready-cooked dishes, 12% from chocolate, 11% from pet products, 6% from pharmaceutical products and 2% from baby milks. Sales by geographic area breakdown: 32% from Europe, 31% from Americas (26% from US), 16% from Asia, 21% from rest of the world.

Note right from the start that there is a deceitful claim in this file, as you can be guaranteed that Nestle's profited far more than 10.43 billion out of 107.6 billion in sales!

just "wikipedia" the Nestle's company to find links to multi-national multi-conglomerated reviews... such as

Nestle's owns in-part or in whole just a few of these companies given for example:

Libby's (1971)
Spillers Petfoods (1998) Ralston Purina (2002) US$10.3 billion Dreyer's Ice Cream (2001) Chef America (Hot Pocket's) 2001 Jenny Craig weight loss Novartis Pharmaceutical for $2.5B Gerber for $5.5 billion Alcon $39.3 billion, by Novartis, the world’s largest eye-care company Nescafé coffee Stouffer's and Lean Quisine (1973) L'Oreal-world's largest cosmetics and beauty company

Libby's (1971)
Spillers Petfoods (1998) Ralston Purina (2002) US$10.3 billion Dreyer's Ice Cream (2001) Chef America (Hot Pocket's) 2001 Jenny Craig weight loss Novartis Pharmaceutical for $2.5B Gerber for $5.5 billion Alcon $39.3 billion Nescafé coffee Stouffer's and Lean Quisine (1973) L'Oreal-world's largest cosmetics and beauty company Carnation canned milk

Confectionery & Snacks

Aero After Eights Animal Bar Baci Chocolate Black Magic Blue Riband Breakaway Caramac Chocolate Cuisine Colgate Dental Gum Dairy Box Dairy Crunch Double Cream Drifter Fab Fruit Pastilles Heaven Henri Nestle Collection Jellytots Kit Kat Kit Kat Chunky Kit Kat - Fairtrade Lion Bar Lyons Maid Ice Cream Matchmakers Maxibon Milky Bar Munchies Nestlé Ice Cream Polo Quality Street Rolo Rowntrees Fruit Gums Smarties Toffee Crisp Toffo Tooty Frooties Walnut Whip Willy Wonka Yorkie Coffee

Alta Rica Black Gold Blend 37 Cap Colombie Cappuccino Caro Decaff Expresso Fine Blend Gold Blend Kenjara Nescafe Ice Organic Partners Blend

Cosmetics

Biotherm Body Shop Cosmence Garnier Helena Rubenstein La Roche-Posay Lancome L'Oreal Matrix Maybelline Metamorphosis Plenitude Redken Dairy Products

Carnation Coffee-Mate Extreme Viennois Fussells Ideal LC1 Munch Bunch yoghurts Rowntree yoghurts and ice creams Simply Double Ski yogurts Sveltesse yogurts Tip-Top

Contact Lens Care

Alcon

Pet Foods

Arthur's Bakers BETA Bonio Felix Friskies Go-Cat Go-Dog Gourmet One Pro Plan Purina Spiller's Vital Balance Winalot Mineral/Bottled Water

Aqua Panna Aquarel Buxton Contrex Perrier Pow-wow San Pellegrino Santa Maria Valvert Vittel Other Drinks

Build-up Milo Nesquik Nestea

Processed Meals

Buitoni pasta & canned foods Herta Maggi Osem/Tivall Rowntrees Jellies Cereals

Cheerios & Honey Nut Cheerios Cinnamon and Golden Grahams Clusters Cookie Crisp Shreddies Fibre 1 Fitnesse Force Flakes Fruitful Golden Nuggets Nesquik cereal Shredded Wheat including: Bitesize, Fruitful, Honey Nut Shreddies: Coco and frosted

It's interesting that all and everyone who read this article follow up and click on the links to websites that are against Nestle's for their abusive campaign and production stndards...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_boycott

http://www.myspace.com/leilani_o_kauai/blog/261854320

http://www.natural-pregnancy-mentor.com/nestle-boycott.html

Most important to know is this:

The truth is Monsanto is the main share holder and owner of Nestle's... Monsanto is a company known for its ruthless take-over of the agricultural market for seed production, which put hundreds of farmers out of house and home when they implemented their genetic research and unleashed their seed brand upon the U.S. It turn that seed polinated adjoining farms, and Monsanto took those farms to the Supreme Court and won mainly through bankrupting those farmers in legal fees alone. Monsanto's seed was genetically altered to withstand certain infestations and pest damage, but also their seed cannot produce plants that can regenerate seed, and most importantly, farmers were forced to buy seed from Monsanto to replant their crops. Monsanto won those court cases by showing that the farmers were using their technology to grow better crops without having to pay, through the incidental cross pollenization of their feld adjoining to Monsanto seed planted fields.

So if you are worried that chocolate contains lead, I would suggest you ease your worries by doing two things...

eat chocolate in moderation

and boycott Nestle's

0
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on December 06, 2010
at 12:04 AM

A friend who worked QA in the auto industry reported to me the lead in chocolate is related to leaded gasoline in 3rd world countries. Dunno if true... but makes sense.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 03, 2010
at 05:48 PM

The study says that Chocolate contains dangerous Lead concentrations.Chocolate can affect the brain by causing the release of certain neurotransmitters.

hyperhydrosis

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