Knowledge Base > Fran Costigan - What’s New In Vegan Chocolate

What’s New In Vegan Chocolate

Fran Costigan - What’s New In Vegan Chocolate

This event was on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 1:00 pm Pacific, 4:00 pm Eastern

Explore the fascinating. evolving and nuanced world of vegan chocolates with Chef Fran Costigan, Rouxbe Director of Vegan Pastry, and the chocolate lover behind “Vegan Chocolate: Una… Read More.



How safe is it to use chocolate, given all the data that has been published about the heavy metals such as lead and cadmium contained in chocolate, especially dark chocolate?

— Ann Marie Dlott


I'm just started reading more about this and I'm very sad about it, really. So the question is, how safe is it to use chocolate given the data that has been published? And this is recent about the heavy metals such as lead and cadmium contained in chocolate, especially dark chocolate. So if you haven't heard this, it's seems to be a thing. I mean, people are, and Theresa's asking the same question, how concerned should we be about letting cadmium in dark chocolate? I have, um, a link or I'm gonna tell you actually where to find it and if I don't find it before the end of this live, I will put it in the link so you can get it. It, you know, there is cadmium naturally occurring in the ground. So some of our foods are uptaking it, they, the researchers don't know how the lead, where the lead is entering the equation, they're kind of guessing about it right now. Consumer reports did, um, an article talking about this and listing brands with they color coded it, high cadmium, high lead and it really is an issue. And a lot of our favorite chocolates are on the list, which is, you know, which really shook me. So I would say I feel comfortable eating chocolate and giving chocolate to little children. There are scientists saying don't give any chocolate, any dark chocolate to children. There is less of these, um, heavy metals in milk chocolate or lower percentage chocolates, then you've got more sugar of course. Um, but as I said in the very beginning, chocolate is a bean but it's not a salad. I eat little bits and I don't eat it every single day despite the fact that I wrote a whole book about it and have all this chocolate behind me because I'm always testing. But I wanna show you something. So I do like desserts and I like making them and I like eating them, but my desserts are smaller than most than many desserts in the marketplace. So for example, here is a little date and peanut bar coated with some dark chocolate. This is a gluten-free brownie bite dipped in high percentage chocolate ganache. And I've got a walnut on there. Oftentimes I put fruit on there. I want to get some nutrition in, you know, into the desserts where I can, um, however they're still dessert. And here I've got some little mandarin oranges. I've been citrus crazy lately and I just dip them in some chocolate ganache. Actually we have a dipping assignment in essential vegan desserts that's very, very interesting. So what I would say is to find these bliss talk to the manufacturer. I'm actually going to several manufacturers to discuss it with them. I noticed a few chocolate makers that I like. Were not on the list, they're not complete. I think this is something that's going on. Mast chocolate, that's MAST was listed as very low. Um, and what they're doing is they are not using single origin as a way to try to, uh, work around having this heavy metal, you know, sky high. It's, this is an ongoing story and I I think they have to figure it out. As I said, they, they don't know where the lead is entering the, the chocolate, where that's coming from. The cadmium is in the ground in the same way that, you know, we had this situation with other foods like brown rice recently. So to be continued and thank you for asking those important questions.


Fran Costigan

Fran Costigan

Director of Vegan Pastry