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Cocoa processed with alkali, commonly called "dutched" cocoa, is not unsafe, but may offer less health benefit due to a reduction in flavanols. However, ConsumerLab has identified at least one product with alkalized cocoa that is high in flavanols. Details about this, as well as our tests of popular products, are found in the Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, and Cocoa Supplements Review >>

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March 22, 2015

Follow-on query: Does the "Alkali Process" reduce pre-process level(s) of Pb and Cd vis-a-vis alternative processing methods?

i.e., am I likely to encounter lower values of percentage content of Cd and/or Pb contamination?

If so, to what extent comparatively?

Tom in MO
November 16, 2015

Hi Tom - We are not aware of any studies looking at this specific issue.

July 19, 2017

Could you perhaps test some dutched cocoas to find out?
July 19, 2017

Hi Mark - Several of the dark chocolates we tested indicated they were "processed with alkali." As expected from this processing, they had flavanol concentrations that were lower than average or lower than what one might have assumed based on the % cocoa listed on the label. However, it was not clear that the processing had any effect on lead or cadmium: one of the products had more cadmium than most of the other dark chocolates.

March 22, 2015

I would like to know something about 100% chocolate. I'm assuming there is oil in the bean, but is the oil unsaturated?
March 25, 2015

Hi Pam - We've now answered your question here:

March 22, 2015

I am sooo glad that someone set us straight on this subject. For years, I was warned
not to use "dutched" cocoa even though it shows up in recipes all over the globe.
And I like it's flavor.
Thank you.

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