Chocolate Specifications

Understanding Chocolate Specifications

Organic Specifications

Organic & Fair Trade Specifications

Standard Specifications

Belgian Chocolate


Cocoa Powder

Specialty Chocolates

Allergen Information




Monitoring Results: Heavy Metals

Heavy metals show up in the dark part of cacao - the fiber.  The metals are not added through processing but rather occur naturally from the volcanic soil in equatorial regions where cacao is grown.  The trees uptake the soil nutrients and also the heavy metals.  These nutrients and metals then get included into the fruit of the tree. The seeds of the fruit are ground up and this becomes chocolate.
If you want to avoid heavy metals, it is recommended to go with lower cocoa solids chocolate because it has less fiber. That being said, lower cocoa solids results in lower antioxidant and lower flavanol count, so the chocolate from a holistic perspective becomes a balance. Santa Barbara Chocolate has a lower cocoa solid content chocolate option (66% cacao) with naturally preserved flavanols that is worth considering as a alternative to a 100% cacao chocolate type. Link:
Please look at this information below (links) to understand more about heavy metals in chocolate. Whenever looking at heavy metals, look at results from the ug/PPM perspective as this information is more accurate than a serving size if you eat more or less than a serving (some servings are shown to be very small and unrealistic on packaged food). Details like serving size can be manipulated from a marketing perspective to skew perception and will not offer an accurate view of reality.
Oregon State University has done research on the subject and they have an excellent article worth reading so that you can learn about heavy metal exposure in farmed food.
Lead is a naturally occurring element in all soil. All plants contain some degree of lead. Root vegetables such as carrots, beets and potatoes contain higher levels of lead than non root vegetables.  Cacao is less likely to contain as much lead as some root vegetables because it is a fruit seed that grows on a tree. Please see below the full details.
mg/kg means ppm = parts per million   This is the measurement used for lead, cadmium and heavy metals analysis. Parts per million (ppm) is the way of measuring very small levels and concentrations of a heavy metal in chocolate.  So when you see this figure in conversions regarding the mass of chocolate it is equal mg/kg to ppm as 1:1.

Color and Size Comparison