Research Article: Dietary exposure assessment of aluminium and cadmium from cocoa in relation to cocoa origin

Date Published: June 5, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Carolin Fechner, Matthias Greiner, Helmut Heseker, Oliver Lindtner, Patrizia Restani.


Cocoa contains aluminium and cadmium as environmental contaminants while concentrations are supposed to be country of origin-related. Integrating origin in dietary exposure assessment could refine calculations. Averages or higher percentiles of concentrations in cocoa powder from German Food Monitoring (GFM) and cocoa consumption from the German National Nutrition Survey II (NVS II) were combined in standard scenarios. Additional origin-related scenarios used concentration data grouped into origin A (lower concentrations) and origin B (higher concentrations) as plausible origin information was rare. The most conservative standard scenario resulted in the highest intake estimates for aluminium and cadmium with 0.152 mg/week/kg BW and 0.363 μg/week/kg BW and covered the origin influence calculated in origin-related scenarios. Having plausible origin information would help to refine exposure assessment as it is exemplarily shown here that origin-related lower intake estimates are possible. Using the Eurostat database and the Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD) generated more origin information for products available on the German market. For Germany, cocoa beans, cocoa powder and cocoa mass were mainly sourced in Côte d’Ivoire, while the Netherlands was the main distributor. Packages of cocoa powders were sourced from different origins.

Partial Text

Aluminium and cadmium are contaminants within the food supply chain and they are especially contained in higher mean concentrations in cocoa and cocoa-based products which is relevant for dietary exposure assessment [1–4].