Lead and Chocolate

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

In sleuthing around Science New’s online archives, I found an article on Lead Contaminated Chocolates that is available for non-subscribers to view. I didn’t read the article thoroughly at the time, just filed it away for future reading. However news involving Dagoba Chocolates has brought this information back into light. In the food world, Chocolates are among the more lead-contaminated. Unfortunatley, local producer Dagoba Chocolate is going to be the messenger of this unfortunate news as they just announced a recall of 40,000 lbs of chocolate.

A test sample revealed that Eclipse 87%, Los Rios 68% and Prima Materia 100% – had lead levels exceeding Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Further testing of the Dagoba plant showed all other chocolate products and plant equipment to be safe. A detailed list of lot numbers for the affected products can be found on the Dagoba Website.

So, how the heck does lead get tangled up in a food source like cocoa beans? As the Science News article mentions, studies have found that lead isn’t from cocoa beans when they’re picked. In fact, cocoa husks serve very well in their lead up-take, which in turn shields the internal bean from lead. Unfortunately, the latest studies have proven non-conclusive when it comes to pin-pointing the source for lead in the chocolate production process. As such, Dagoba officials are planning a trip to the Ecuadorian supplier responsible for the high lead batch, to examine the soil and production grounds for contanimation.

Science News artice :Leaden Chocolate
Dagoba Listing of Products Recalled
Statement from Dagoba company


posted April 4th, 2006 at 11:52 pm

Wow, just recently I’ve been really wanting to try Dagoba (because its organic and apparently really good etc)… I guess its for the best that I hadn’t gotten round to tracking any down yet!

  • Dagoba is still safe to try- just avoid those two dark chocolates, or ask your grocery store if they’ve already pulled the chocolate from the shelves.


- Sue
posted April 5th, 2006 at 6:53 am

My husband’s favorite chocolate…

  • Mine too! The spicy one, I adore.


- kara
posted April 7th, 2006 at 3:39 pm

Is nothing sacred??!!
Oh, well.
I prefer really good licorice to really good chocolate. I know. I’m weird.

  • :0


posted April 7th, 2006 at 3:54 pm

Whoah. We were just talking about this yesterday at the shop. Or rather, a customer came in and mentioned a chocolate recall but she didn’t know any of the details. Fortunately, the only Dagoba bar we carry (The Conocada — the only one certified Fair Trade), is not on the recall list. We do carry an immense variety of gourmet chocolates from all over the world, so I hope the rest are relatively safe — or as safe as any dark chocolate can be.

Not that this is going to stop me eating it. Gah. I’m such a junkie.

  • chomp, chew… munch…
    me too!


posted November 25th, 2006 at 2:56 pm

does anyone have any idea how to test for lead in different kinds of chocolate, i’m trying to conduct a science experiment for the science fair, please contact me.


:’( and once…i too loved Dagoba chocolates…

- Clorinecount-alot
posted April 23rd, 2007 at 10:04 am

According to CSI last evening, cocoa plants become contaminated by lead in countries where they continue using lead additives in their gasoline. Rain washes the lead off of the plants and into the ground sending lead to the “root of the problem”! This is probably just one source.

- Sparkie

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