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|Title: ||Exposures and risks of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in cocoa beans and cocoa-based foods: a systematic review|
|Authors: ||Anyimah-Ackah, Ekpor|
Ofosu, Isaac W.
Lutterodt, Herman E.
|Keywords: ||toxic heavy metals|
|Issue Date: ||2019|
|Publisher: ||Oxford University Press|
|Abstract: ||Background: The World Health Organization has expressed concern about arsenic, cadmium,
lead, and mercury as potentially harmful to human health. As such, the world body has called
for appropriate preventive and interventionary measures. In response, food regulatory bodies
including European Food Safety Authority are monitoring the levels of these heavy metals in cocoa
and cocoa products.
Objective: Therefore, the objective of this paper is to synthesize the latest relevant available peerreviewed
publications on arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury with a view to highlighting the
gaps to encourage further research and informing industry.
Materials and Methods: A systematic review was conducted using the European Food Safety
Authority guide in PubMed database and the result was reported according to the PRISMA checklist.
Results: The results show that processing may dilute or concentrate the levels of arsenic, cadmium,
lead, and mercury, depending on processing factors including the product type, processing method,
and raw materials. In addition, some products exceed the European Union and Chinese Maximum
Contaminant Level and may pose risk. Furthermore, the findings show that the risk of heavy metal
toxicities was higher among children relative to adults at the same exposure in cocoa-based
products and that correcting risk estimates for bioavailability reduces the level of estimated risk.
Conclusion: Therefore, the review concludes that further research is required to clarify the effect of
processing on the level of these contaminants in specific cocoa-based foods. Moreover, conducting
risk studies based on age groups and correcting for bioavailability of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and
mercury enhance accuracy of risk estimates.
Recommendations: The review, therefore, recommends that a value chain approach be adopted
to assessing the levels, exposures, and risks of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in cocoabased
foods and the effect of processing on these levels.|
|Description: ||An article published by Oxford University Press and also available at doi:10.1093/fqsafe/fyy025|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Science|
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