Cadmium is a natural metal element like lead, zinc and copper. In combination with other substances it is present in the earth’s crust and in the air, water and soil.
Cadmium can be unhealthy depending on the form of cadmium, the amount of intake in the body and whether the cadmium is eaten or inhaled. High levels of cadmium can cause flu-like symptoms and are also related to bone and lung diseases.
If you eat grains, potatoes, some leafy vegetables, shellfish and chocolate, you will already have ingested naturally occurring cadmium. Depending on the region where your foods come from, the amount of cadmium traces vary considerably.
Why is Cadmium relevant for chocolate consumers?
In chocolate, higher levels of cadmium traces are found in cacao beans from South America compared to cacao beans originating from Africa and Asia. Cacao trees absorb cadmium during their metabolic processes which is then stored in the cacao fruit and its seeds, the beans. No process exists to remove cadmium traces during the chocolate making and so they make their way into the final chocolate product.
EU Regulation on Cadmium Limits effective as of January 1st 2019
New regulations regarding maximum allowable limits of cadmium, as specified in the European Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006, will become effective as per the 1st January, 2019.
Original Beans has been monitoring cadmium levels in the beans and the chocolates for years through analysis of independent and recognised external laboratories.
All Original Beans products will of course comply to EU regulations. We will continue to measure cadmium levels in all our cacao beans and all chocolates. And we will report them to you on demand. In this way, we want to make sure you can enjoy a pure, natural product from local provenance without a second thought.
What are the EU’s Cadmium Limits?
As of January 1st 2019, the European Commission is introducing the following legal maximum levels of cadmium permitted for cacao, chocolate and their derivatives (Regulation EC 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006):