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Welcome back Saul - Nice to hear from you again!

 

... this [concern about heavy metals in chocolate products] is probably reduced if the plant residue (in this case, all of the cocoa bean except for the cocoa powder) is removed.

 

From the research I've seen, the heavy metals are most concentrated in the cocoa powder - much more so than the chocolate liquor, which includes the fat.

 

[My] urine Hg, Pb, etc. were vanishingly low.

 

Great to hear. That must have been somewhat of a relief - given you high fish intake.

 

BUT --- surprise! --- urinary Arsenic was high normal! ... Neither Dr. Taylor (my nephrologist) nor I have any idea why.

 

Did you ask you wife about it?  :)xyz

 

Seriously, it could be the salmon, although this paper [1] seems to suggest the arsenic in salmon and other seafood is not really a significant risk:

 

 Organic arsenic compounds such as
arsenobetaine and arsenocholine seem not to be converted to
inorganic arsenic in vivo and not genotoxic in mammalian cells in
vitro. Therefore, arsenobetaine and arsenocholine from fish and
sea food consumption is not considered to represent a significant
health risk.
 

Does the urinary arsenic test assess the form of the arsenic (i.e. organic vs. inorganic)?

 

--Dean

 

---------------------------

[1] International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:10 No:05 4

 103205-6565 IJBAS-IJENS © October 2010
 
The Presence of Arsenic as Heavy Metal Contaminant on Salmon : a Risk Assessment
 
Titik Budiati
 
Food Technology Division , School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia,
Penang, Malaysia
 
Abstract-- Salmon is a kind of fish which has good nutrition for
human but it can be contaminated by heavy metal such as
arsenic. In risk assessment , the provisional tolerable weekly
intake (PTWI) for inorganic arsenic is 15 μg/kg b.w./week and
the organic forms of arsenic present in sea foods need different
consideration from the inorganic arsenic in water. There are no
reports of toxicity in man or animals from the consumption of
organoarsenicals in seafood. Organic arsenic compounds such as
arsenobetaine and arsenocholine seem not to be converted to
inorganic arsenic in vivo and not genotoxic in mammalian cells in
vitro. Therefore, arsenobetaine and arsenocholine from fish and
sea food consumption is not considered to represent a significant
health risk.
 
Index Term-- Salmon, arsenic, risk assessment.
 

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The result was interesting:  Urine Hg, Pb, etc. were vanishingly low.  BUT --- surprise! --- urinary Arsenic was high normal!  (The figure was well within the acceptable range -- but higher than the 50'th percentile).  Neither Dr. Taylor (my nephrologist) nor I have any idea why.

 

:unsure:

 

  -- Saul

 

Do you eat rice or rice-derived products? There have been some concerns raised about arsenic levels in rice, e.g.:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/11/arsenic-in-your-food/index.htm

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Hi Brett!

 

You're right about brown rice harboring As -- but I never eat any kind of rice -- like Michael Rae, I avoid all grains.

My CR-friendly nephrologist (who writes the scripts for my bloodwork and urine analysis) was also perplexed.

 

  -- Saul

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I am reviving this thread with a thought- perhaps a more efficient / less time consuming alternative to brewing your own chocolate while mitigating concerns expressed in the original thread ( i.e., how to maintain polyphenol advantages of chocolate while minimizing saturated fat, calories, and heavy metal contamination which is especially a concern in cocoa powders) is to drink chocolate tea based on cocao shells? Sources suggest it has no caories ( I suspect some minimal amount under the threshold) though I have not identified a source reporting cadmium and other heavy metal levels though I am interested to hear what others have found and suspect it is at least possible it is lower as tnbr cacao is from steeping as opposed to from a powder.

 

Any thoughts investigations here? If it is the thread I missed it but seems like a plausible solution if heavy metal levels are also low and has a decent amount of polyphenols - both important to determine before a "green light" on this idea.

 

Here's an example: http://www.capitalteas.com/Organic-Tisano-Cacao-p/4201.htm

 

It claims "Rich in polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, with levels higher than blueberries and Acai berries" but does not quantify the polyphenols.

Edited by Mechanism

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Nice find Sibiriak!

 

Tea, thank you for your input - with your user name are from the industry?

 

That would be unfortunate. Do you have any references or sources for us to look into heavy metal and flavonoid levels from steeping cacao shells or corresponding teas? It would be great if we could check/verify levels. Personally, I would accept half the polyphenols exchange for a quarter the heavy metals ( and can double up on dose), but it sounds like you are confident regarding the heavy metal levels.

Edited by Mechanism

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Nice find Sibiriak!

 

Tea, thank you for your input - with your user name are from the industry?

 

That would be unfortunate. Do you have any references or sources for us to look into heavy metal and flavonoid levels from steeping cacao shells or corresponding teas? It would be great if we could check/verify levels. Personally, I would accept half the polyphenols exchange for a quarter the heavy metals ( and can double up on dose), but it sounds like you are confident regarding the heavy metal levels.

not in the tea industry unfortunately, just enjoy sencha.

 

This is mainly speculation based on personal experience with cacao and cacao shell tea. As far as i know, the heavy metals and contaminants cacao accumulates come primarily from the soil, so there may not be much of a difference between the heavy metal concentration of the shells vs bean. But cocoa shell does appear to have significant biosorption potential, so it is not unreasonable to assume that it could be some kind of a bioaccumulator of heavy metals.

 

Because the shells are a waste/byproduct product there is a good chance whatever company is selling them as tea is buying this in massive quantities for cheap, probably coming from farms of questionable agricultural practices, and maybe more likely to be contaminated during processing/storage since it is byproduct.

 

Having tasted cacao husk tea in Mexico before, it is very mild tasting - i can't imagine there is a high concentration of water soluble flavanoids. No doubt there is some antioxidant activity, but at least according to this study, "Methanol proved to be the best solvent in extracting antioxidants from cocoa by-products" so tea is obviously not the best way to absorption whatever amount of flavanoids there are. 

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Nice finds Tea.

 

Fascinating thread here https://archive.thechocolatelife.com/community/forums/tech-help-tips-tricks-techniques/15027/what-use-it-is-given-to-the-shell-of-the-cocoa-beans

Whereby concentration of Cd and Pb as well as mycotoxin raised as potential hazards - Heavy metals are significantly lower in the nibs - no info on how much retained by steeping and/or subsequent extraction/distillation/purification, etc. steps if any.

 

It is not so simple though. Enormous variability by sourcing, correlating better with pH, zinc content of soil, cultivar "varietal differences," etc than with soil levels of cadmium which had minimal association except for weak correlation with Cd levels in the bean: https://www.icco.org/sites/sps/documents/Cadmium%20Workshop/CABI.pdf

 

The bean may have more Cd than the shell though: https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/download/63005/PDF

 

Bottom line as with other research, solid data on heavy metals and polyphenols are needed and I would err towards caution in absence of this info for a given marketed chocolate tea. If this is ( or becomes) available for that product, I would not extrapolate to other products since levels are highly variable and experience limited.

Edited by Mechanism

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In this very same long thead https://www.crsociety.org/topic/11377-so-why-dont-we-brew-our-chocolate/page-2

 

In the context of brewing ( though in the context of cocoa husks, not cocoa shells we are discussing- see Dean's flowchart in the 2nd link URL in this post for distinction) Dean quoted:

"Q: Why do you include husks for brewing cocoa? They must add a good flavor, do they also help with the consistency of the grind?

 

A: Flavor is the #1 reason. There is virtually no oil in the husk, so you get lots of flavor and color. And it seems to go well with the nib. If you brew the husk alone it’s a rather bland drink. It’s one of those cases that seem like the whole is greater than the parts."

 

But then if the tea is flavorful, proof is in the pudding ( or tea) and a good sales for the product suggestive of demand.... perhaps cocoa shells taste better than cocoa husks.... though at least some cocoa teas are made with both components: https://www.newfangledlabs.com/cacao-tea/

 

Hopefully cadmium / heavy metal and polyphenol data will become available sooner or later, perhaps via ConsumerLabs update if the tea gains popularity.

 

Another great thread www.google.com/url?q=https://www.crsociety.org/topic/11373-composition-and-health-implications-of-various-chocolate-products/&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwjV7KLYj4rWAhWBUyYKHU2eDEYQFggbMAE&usg=AFQjCNE-Ip26ZCkksw-gLUZ8r5cvqZ_VHwsuggests best saturated fat vs cadmium trade off in cocoa nibs but have not seen reference to cocoa shells in question.

Edited by Mechanism

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Mechanism,  thanks for all the info and links.    I decided to try some cold-pressed organic cacao powder.   Ultimately,  cacao nibs were too high in fat and calories for my needs,  and the teas seem a bit dicey (I especially noted many reviews that said they were quite thin and weak.)

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Sibiriak,

 

I am glad to hear you found a good solution. For cacao powders, heavy metals appear to be the primary potentially significant concern and can be mitigated by selecting a better brand tested by ConsumerLabs ( Hershey's did pretty good IIRC) - taking, in moderation, sounds like a welcome adjunct to your diet.

Edited by Mechanism

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Guys,

could we please make a list of the un-alkalized, cadmium-poor cocoa powders available, with price?

 

So far I know, as cited in other threads:

 

  • Trader's Joe
  • Hershey's

But I'm not sure they are not alkalized and Trader's does not deliver to Italy. The requisite of being un-alkalized (undutched) grants about three times the epicatechins than in dutched cacao. I too am interested in Sibiriak's cold-pressed raw cacao powder or similar, although some of'em are prett costly for the large quantities I consume.

 

Of course the raw varieties are even better.

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I buy supplements etc. from iHerb, as they have free, fast and reliable shipping to Russia.  

 

As I wrote, I decided to try out some organic cacao powder, and I selected this product based on description and reviews  without looking for info about cadmium levels:

 

https://www.iherb.com/pr/Sunfood-Organic-Cacao-Powder-1-lb-454-g/59381

 

The claim is that the cold-processing preserves valuable phytochemical content,  but I don't know how valid that is.  Many flavonoids can withstand considerable heat processing.

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Thanks Sibiriak, I'm doing the same here, selecting the brands which deliver to Italy and have good reviews, the one below so far looking a pretty favourable one with a good price. No cadmium values declared.

There is an article on processing temperatures, as far as I can remember there is some significant difference from cold-processed to intermediate and high temperatures, also the original cacao variety influences epicatechins concentrations.

 

914lij-9ctL._SL1500_.jpg

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Rare victory for rainforests as nations vow to stop 'death by chocolate'

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/08/rare-victory-for-rainforests-as-nations-vow-to-stop-death-by-chocolate

 

In an investigation published in September, the Guardian found that deforestation-linked cocoa had entered the supply chains of some of the biggest players in the chocolate industry. At the same time, the environmental group Mighty Earth published Chocolate’s Dark Secret, a report that found that “a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by Mars, Nestle, Hershey’s, Godiva, and other major chocolate companies was grown illegally.”

 

Corrupt Ivorian officials whose job it was to protect the country’s national parks and classified forests were accepting huge bribes to allow small-scale farmers to cut them down and grow cocoa.

 

This cocoa was then bought by middlemen who sold it on to large cocoa traders including Barry Callebaut and Cargill, companies which sell to Mars, Cadbury and Nestlé.

Edited by Sibiriak

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