Is there Cadmium in Chocolate?

As a responsible supplier of chocolate products, we at Zotter Chocolates take food safety, quality and conformity with legislative and regulatory standards very seriously. This is accomplished through our commitment to following HACCP Programs as well as maintaining a documented Supplier Approval Program.

Our Chocolate is made in Austria. For cadmium, there have been legal guideline values in the EU since 2019.

  • < 30% cocoa content – max. 0.1mg/kg chocolate
  • > 30 < 50% cocoa content – max. 0.3 mg/kg chocolate
  • > 50% cocoa content – max. 0.8 mg/kg chocolate

Since we receive the analysis results of the cocoa beans before delivery, we can already decide, depending on the value, whether we can use them for the intended chocolate. In addition, we check annually according to the sampling plan from the current range – of course, primarily from the very dark varieties. The results were consistently below the respective limit.

For the United States, there are no federal limits for the amount of lead and cadmium most foods can contain.

Trace levels of minerals and elements, such as cadmium (heavy metals), can be found in nearly all cocoa products. However, it is widely accepted by the industry that these elements are absorbed at the farm level through the soil of the cacao trees. Therefore, the values may vary from each individual farm. With regards to minerals, i.e. heavy metals, Prop 65 gives an exemption for chemicals that are “naturally occurring” in food.

Therefore, we consider our chocolate products to be in compliance with current Prop 65 regulations. Going forward we will adjust our policies as necessary as more information on new Prop 65 standards becomes available.

*This communication is intended to provide advice to Zotter Chocolates customers upon their request. Our interpretation of the law does not represent a formal legal opinion, as we have not sought concurrence with the competent authorities. Customers are encouraged to consult with their own legal counsel.

This topic was widely spread in the media due to a Consumer Reports article in December 2022 and October 2023

Because of this, we are sharing helpful articles below that help to understand the background and some scientific information as well. We invite you to watch and read below:

YouTube Video:  Is There Cadmium in Your Chocolate? (Craft Chocolate TV)

Ars Technica report,November 1st 2023: “Despite spooky Consumer Reports’ testing, metals in chocolates aren’t scary” link to article

Heavy metals in chocolate and other foods: a helpful comparison

Bio-Availability of cadmium in cacao

See the Harvard toxicologist recommendation at the end