Send to

Choose Destination
Talanta. 2014 Feb;119:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2013.10.048. Epub 2013 Oct 28.

Trace elements in cocoa solids and chocolate: an ICPMS study.

Author information

Chemistry Department, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Electronic address:
Nuclear Research Center, Negev, P.O. Box 9001, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Geological Survey for Israel (GSI), Jerusalem, Israel.


The concentrations of eight trace elements: lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), arsenic (As), bismuth (Bi) and molybdenum (Mo), in chocolate, cocoa beans and products were studied by ICPMS. The study examined chocolate samples from different brands and countries with different concentrations of cocoa solids from each brand. The samples were digested and filtered to remove lipids and indium was used as an internal standard to correct matrix effects. A linear correlation was found between the level of several trace elements in chocolate and the cocoa solids content. Significant levels of Bi and As were found in the cocoa bean shells but not in the cocoa bean and chocolate. This may be attributed to environmental contamination. The presence of other elements was attributed to the manufacturing processes of cocoa and chocolate products. Children, who are big consumers of chocolates, may be at risk of exceeding the daily limit of lead; whereas one 10 g cube of dark chocolate may contain as much as 20% of the daily lead oral limit. Moreover chocolate may not be the only source of lead in their nutrition. For adults there is almost no risk of exceeding daily limits for trace metals ingestion because their digestive absorption of metals is very poor.


Chocolate; Chromium; ICPMS; Lead; Trace elements

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center