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Question:
I heard somewhere to avoid chocolate with "processed with alkali" in the ingredients. Is that true?

Answer:
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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milton623   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

ConsumerLab.com   November 16, 2015
Hi Tom - We are not aware of any studies looking at this specific issue.

Marc15307   July 19, 2017
Could you perhaps test some dutched cocoas to find out?

ConsumerLab.com   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.

Pam620   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?

ConsumerLab.com   March 25, 2015
Hi Pam - We've now answered your question here: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/%20/cocoa_butter_fat_in_chocolate/

Christa618   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.

This CL Answer initially posted on 3/21/2015. Last updated 8/3/2017.

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