California Proposition 65 Statement for Chocolate and Cocoa Powder


California Proposition 65 Statement

As a responsible supplier of chocolate and cocoa powder products, we at Santa Barbara Chocolate take food safety, quality and conformity with legislative and regulatory standards very seriously. This is accomplished through our commitment to following GMP and HACCP Programs as well as maintaining a documented Supplier Approval Program.


Approved raw material suppliers are asked to demonstrate that they monitor for certain contaminants in the products they supply to us or otherwise certify the raw materials as meeting applicable requirements of

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as Proposition 65.


Trace levels of minerals and elements, such as cadmium (heavy metals), can be found in nearly all cocoa products. However, it is widely accepted by the industry that these elements are absorbed at the farm level through the soil of the cacao trees. Therefore, the values may vary from each individual farm. With regards to minerals, i.e. heavy metals, Prop 65 gives an exemption for chemicals that are “naturally occurring” in food.


Therefore, we consider our chocolate and cocoa powder products to be in compliance with current Prop 65 regulations. Going forward we will adjust our policies as necessary as more information on new Prop 65 standards becomes available.


*This communication is intended to provide advice to Santa Barbara Chocolate customers upon their request. Our interpretation of the law does not represent a formal legal opinion, as we have not sought concurrence with the competent authorities. Customers are encouraged to consult with their own legal counsel.


Do Not Burn the Cocoa Bean


Some chocolate companies burn their cocoa beans with a heavy roast. This results in a strong bitter taste with little depth in flavor. This heavy roast is usually done to hide inferior quality cocoa bean flavors such as the off notes of acidity, metallic or even damp musty flavors due to over ripe or over fermented cocoa beans. Burning the cocoa bean allows manufacturers to use less cocoa fiber (the dark part of the cocoa bean and the most expensive part) and still get a desired "dark" chocolate taste. This is a process of masking chocolate to make it seem high cocoa solids when in fact it is not.


Cacao Roasting


Santa Barbara Chocolate does not over-roast or use inferior grade cocoa beans. We never burn the cocoa beans to produce a darker flavor (over roasting increases dangerous acrylamide content and therefore CA Prop 65 issues). Santa Barbara Chocolate supply is a true balance accentuating the flavor of cocoa with no burnt aftertaste. By keeping cocoa roast low and short, the chocolate will retain a higher concentration of antioxidants. We are a chocolate supplier to the health food industry and so cocoa antioxidants are critically important. We focus at keeping cocoa antioxidants as high as possible while supplying a safe chocolate, free of harmful contaminants that tastes good.