What is the Elemental Composition of Chocolate Products?

chocolate products

Seven chocolate products were examined.

Chocolate has been harvested for human consumption for thousands of years. The Mayans used cocoa beans as currency. Present day consumption of many chocolate products are measured on a global scale. In the US, Americans consume over 11 pounds of chocolate per person, per year. Are you a chocoholic? If so, this study may interest you.

Cocoa plants are native to tropical climates with high levels of humidity and rainfall. This climate increases the need for pesticide application to protect the cocoa bean crops. Heavy metals from pesticide and fertilizer applications can accumulate in the soil and add to the possible accumulation of those metals in the cocoa beans.

This study examined the elemental composition of liquor, milk and dark chocolate products.

Materials and methods

Sample preparation

Seven different products were examined: three dark chocolate bars, three milk chocolate bars and chocolate liquor. All of the chocolate bars were purchased in the United States. The suggested average serving size of all of the chocolate bars was 40 g. The nutritional and elemental information reported on the package was recorded for comparison to experimental results.

  • 1 to 0.2 g of sample were digested using 10 mL High Purity Nitric Acid
  • Digests were diluted 100x with water before analysis on ICP-MS

Spex CertiPrep standards were used to calibrate and quantitate sample results:

  • Multi-element solution standards: CLMS-1, CLMS-2 and CLMS-3
  • Instrument calibration standards: CL-ICV-1 and CL-ICS-1
  • Instrument tuning solution: CL-TUNE-2

Analytical conditions

  • Instrument: DRC ICP-MS
  • Instrument conditions
    • RF Generator: 1000 W
    • Plasma Gas Flow: 15 L/min
    • Gas Flow: 1 L/min
    • Nebulizer: 90 L
    • Sample Uptake: 1 mL/min
    • Spray Chamber: Cyclonic, glass
    • Injector Tube Diameter: 5 mm
    • Interface Cones: Pt
    • Rod Offset: 0 V
    • Dwell Time: 50 ms
    • Scan Mode: Peak Hopping
    • MCA Channels/Peak 1
    • Detector Mode: Pulse Counting

See the results

Related Video

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