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Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 18 (2005) 517–522

Original Article

Lead, cadmium and nickel in chocolates and candies from suburban areas of Mumbai, India
Sudhir Dahiya*, Rupali Karpe, A.G. Hegde, R.M. Sharma
Environmental Studies Section, Health Physics Division, Bhabha Atomic ResearchCentre, Trombay, Mumbai-400085, India Received 18 July 2003; received in revised form 11 May 2004; accepted 14 May 2004

Abstract Nickel, lead and cadmium contents were determined in 69 different brands of chocolates and candies available in local markets of suburban areas of Mumbai, India. The majority of these chocolates and candies are made mainly from cocoa, milk solids, dry fruits, fruitflavours and sugar. Out of 69 brands of chocolates and candies analysed, 23 were cocoa-based, 22 milk-based and another 24 were of fruit flavour and sugar-based. Cadmium level ranged from 0.001 to 2.73 mg/g with an average of 0.105 mg/g. Nickel ranged from 0.041 to 8.29 mg/g with an average of 1.63 mg/g and lead level ranged from 0.049 to 8.04 mg/g with an average of 0.93 mg/g. Cocoa-based chocolatesare found to have higher contents of the analysed heavy metals than milk-based chocolates, fruit flavour- or sugar-based candies. r 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Lead; Nickel; Cadmium; Chocolate; Cocoa; Candies

1. Introduction The future of any nation depends on the health, prosperity and progress of the forthcoming generation. In the present era of industrialization anddevelopment, one concern should be the health of the future generation. Children are the most vulnerable age group to any kind of contamination in the food chain. Chocolates and candies/toffees are the favourite food items of children and are often presented to them as token of love and affection from their parents and relatives.
*Corresponding author. E-mail address: (S. Dahiya).0889-1575/$ - see front matter r 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2004.05.002

518 S. Dahiya et al. / Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 18 (2005) 517–522

Consumption of chocolates and toffees is not limited to a part of society. There are many types of locally made toffees and chocolates available in the market at a cheaper price than knownbrands. Out of these, only 60–70% have food labels listing ingredients on the wrappers. The most common ingredients listed are sugar, liquid glucose, milk solids, cocoa solids, hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), vegetable fats, malt extract, soya solids, permitted emulsifier, salts, buffering agents, permitted stabilizer, sodium bicarbonate, cocoa butter, wheat flour, edible starches, vegetable oil,added flavour, soya lecithin, yeast and flour improvers, etc. Out of the abovementioned ingredients, milk solids, cocoa solids, cocoa butter, hydrogenated vegetable oil, vegetable fats, permitted emulsifier, buffering agents and permitted stabilizer may be the source of nickel, lead and cadmium contamination.

Toxicity of nickel, lead and cadmium Nickel in chocolates made the news headlines in theearly 1990s. Nickel in various types of chocolates and toffees was reported by Selavpathy and Sarala Devi (1995) with a range of 0.15– 3.55 mg/g with a mean of 0.88 mg/g. Nickel is the main known contaminant resulting from the manufacturing process of chocolate, when its hardening is done by hydrogenation of unsaturated fats using nickel as catalyst. Cocoa butter is another important ingredientwhich may contain high concentrations of nickel (Selavpathy and Sarala Devi, 1995). Some other pathways for nickel to toffees are raw materials, their processing and canning for transportation and storage in nickel containers (Melsallam, 1987). Nickel at trace amount may be beneficial as an activator of some enzyme systems (Underwood, 1977). At higher levels, it accumulates in the lungs and may...
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