Trace elements in cocoa solids and chocolate: An ICPMS study

Rinat Levi Yanus, Hagit Sela, Eitan J.C. Borojovich, Yevgeni Zakon, Magal Saphier, Andrey Nikolski, Efi Gutflais, Avraham Lorber, Zeev Karpas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Chocolate
  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Trace elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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