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Our Response to Heavy Metal Claims

To our beloved Rawmio community,

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us, giving us the opportunity to connect with you in light of the recent Consumer Reports article. The situation is not as straightforward as the article may have people believe, so bear with us here while we attempt to adequately summarize without too much information overload.

At Rawmio, we only use direct-sourced, single-origin cacao from a group of organic small-farm cooperatives in the Amazon region of Peru. As protocol, our cacao is rigorously and consistently tested for heavy metals (among other things like contaminants and pathogens) at the source, and we also send samples of our chocolate to a 3rd party lab to verify.

The fact of the matter is that all chocolate contains cadmium, and this is nothing new. All foods grown in soil will have trace levels of heavy metals - it's also important to keep that in mind.

Here are the 3 key factors that impact cadmium levels as they pertain to chocolate:

  • The levels in the soil (where the cacao is grown)

  • The percentage of cacao solids in the formula, i.e. the darker the chocolate, the more cadmium it will most likely contain. The percentage of cacao butter in the formula also plays a role, as cadmium is found in the solids, not the butter. This means that a 100% cacao bar made with a higher % of cacao butter may contain less cadmium than an 85% bar made with more cacao powder and less butter. 

  • Lab testing margins. Cadmium testing has a +/- 40% margin of error from the most reputable labs - meaning one lab could give up to 40% higher or lower results than a different lab testing the same exact sample.

Please refer to an article we recently published to our blog HERE written by our cacao supplier in Peru. He points out some of the main flaws related to both California's Prop 65 standards for cadmium in cacao, and also the misleading and confusing nature of the Consumer Reports article.

So, how does all of this relate to our chocolate specifically? We invite you to consider the following:

  • Rawmio is single-origin, meaning we know exactly where our cacao is grown and processed. Many companies source cacao from all over the world, and their supply chain is subject to change without notice. This means, their cadmium levels will also inevitably vary throughout the year.

  • Rawmio chocolate has always been in compliance with the EU’s strict safety limits for cadmium in cacao

  • We are aware of the issue surrounding cacao and heavy metals and we, as well as our supplier, are actively engaged in reducing the cadmium in our chocolate.

  • Heavy metal testing is, and always has been, a part of our quality control and food safety protocols.

  • We are a nib-to-bar manufacturer, meaning we don't use cacao powder to make our chocolate (cacao powder has the highest concentration of cadmium). 

  • Instead of using a co-packer, we own our own manufacturing facility and craft all of our products in-house - we have complete control over the process from start to finish. 

  • Due to its raw nature, our chocolate is rich in flavonols and antioxidants which have been well-researched and known to help protect heart health and cellular health in general. It is made without refined sugar (known to cause inflammation), milk products, or soy. It is full of compounds that help boost energy levels and overall mood. It's a superfood!

  • There is no way to eliminate all cadmium in chocolate. But we are confident that our chocolate is not only safe but exceptionally healthy when enjoyed within a balanced diet.

Please find a COA with heavy metal analysis for our cacao nibs here.

Thank you all for your support and please don't hesitate to contact us if we can help with anything.

Cacao for now,
The Rawmio Team
Our Response to Heavy Metal Claims