Our cacao is certified lab-tested & safe.
Here’s why: To avoid the heavy metals, it is important to source cacao from regions with good organic soil content and no contamination from industry and to ensure that the winnowing (removal of the shell) is done to a very high degree and standard.
ChocoSol sent our 100% cacao chocolate to a lab for heavy metal testing in May 2022. We had received these questions in the past, and we wanted to be more proactive in replying with quantitative data that would complement the health and ecology of our regenerative agricultural and forest garden polyculture approaches we source our cacao, coffee and vanilla from. We chose our 100% gratitude with no cacao butter, or sugar added because if it was within standards, all our chocolate would be. Our 100% cacao chocolate is as dark as chocolate can come, and because of our stone ground low heat, the low-sheer process maintains more of the flavonoids that are good for you.
Our results were excellent and came from a certified lab at SGS Labs in Mississauga. This test also includes our green coffee.
You can see our direct lab results here:
In terms of lead, mercury, arsenic, and aflatoxins, our cacao was below the minimum detection levels (MDL), meaning it was lower than 10% of recommended levels. Our cadmium level was also quite low and was 32% of the recommended maximum level. In comparison to the chart tested in California of safe and not-so-safe chocolates, our darkest chocolate is a clear winner, ranking as good as or even lower than the safest recommendations made in the consumer report. Currently, we are continuing the questions to understand the comparative differences between the California standards as compared to the FDA, CFIA, EU and FAO standards. They appear to be quite similar, but there are some differences we are exploring in order to provide a more exact comparison.
With the help our a Sick Kids hospital child nutrition expert, we have shaped some 2023 tests and trials that we would like to use to explore some research questions.
1) What is the difference between forest garden cacao growing in polycultures and semi-wild environments, and cacao growing in more groomed plantation style.
2) What is the effect of longer fermentation on heavy metals that may naturally be contained in the seeds? To test this, we would select 2-3 regions where we could acquire similar beans from similar soils, and test the difference between cacao that fermented and dried for 3 days and cacao that was fermented for 7-8 days. The theory is that the fermentation process, which is done for fine flavour-aroma chocolate and not as much in industrial cacao, might also help with reducing the heavy-meatal through the acidic fermentation and leeching of the beans.
3) We will also test all of our origins in our blend independently to see the variation in the results by origin and by profile in order to better establish our healthy baseline for our standard Chocosol cacao blends. Terroir is important, and deepening our food safety approach to our chocolates is a key to our commitment to safe, clean, and healthy quality.
Stay tuned for more research, results and continued innovation & reflection from the ChocoSol team.
Lead Goose, Founder and Chief Ecological Research Officer of the ChocoSol Learning Community/Social Enterprise,
Michael Sacco, PhD