Cadmium in chocolate – Determination using anodic stripping voltammetry after dry ashing in a muffle furnace

The toxic element cadmium (Cd) can be found in elevated concentrations with high bioavailability in some soils. Under such conditions, cacao trees can accumulate cadmium in the beans, which are then processed into cocoa. Chocolate produced from the affected beans will contain elevated cadmium levels. Typical limit values in the European Union are between 100 µg/kg and 800 µg/kg (EU Commission Regulation 1881/2006) depending on the cocoa content of the chocolate.


Anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV) can be used to accurately determine trace quantities of cadmium in chocolate down to approximately 10 µg/kg. The method is simple to perform, specific, and free of interferences. Prior to determination the samples are ashed in a furnace at 450 °C.