Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600

+32 25889658


Chocolate and Cocoa Products as A Source of Essential Elements in Nutrition

Manfred Sager

In order to test current quality and nutritional merits of chocolate, 54 dark, plain and milk chocolate samples as well as cocoa were collected from the Austrian market and analyzed for many nutrient, essential and non essential elements, including the non-metals B, Si, S, and I. The cocoa contents ranged from 20-100%. Among the nonwanted trace elements, nickel was Gaussian distributed with a rather high mean of 4.9 mg/kg. Cd largely ranged below 0.20 mg/kg, but a few were higher, reaching 0.90 mg/kg. Contrary to previous studies, the same sample set was used to determine the contents of several element groups to look for interelement effects. Compared with element levels met in other sweets, element contents in chocolate were significantly higher. Many trace elements, like B-Co-Cr-Cu-Fe-Mn-Zn, ranged at levels met in green plants. Nickel concentrations were surprisingly high and about Gaussian distributed. Silicon was frequently higher than aluminium. Contaminants Pb, As, V, and Tl were very low, Cd was variable. Factor analysis grouped the element concentrations into B-Co-Cu-Mg-Mn-Ni- P-S-Zn, Al-Cr- Fe-Si, and Ca-J-Na, which might represent a component from the cocoa bean, its outer shell, and milk. Contrary to other sweets, consumption of 100 g of chocolate satisfies the recommended daily intake for Cr-Cu-Fe, and 300 g for Mg and Zn, which is particularly important for the adequate trace element supply of children and vegans.