Objective: To assess variation in methods used by industry for determining iron content in dark chocolate bars to provide information for nutrition labeling; to compare analyzed iron content with iron values reported on nutrition labels of commercial dark chocolate bars and to compare the catechin and epicatechin content of organic and conventionally produced dark chocolate bars. Methods: Ten brands of dark chocolate bars (70-85% cocoa solids) were purchased. Assessing variation - Label values for iron content, were assessed. Producers were contacted to confirm specific methods utilized for product labels. Comparing analyzed and reported iron values - Bars were analyzed via microwave digestion and ICP-MS. Values for iron content were compared to those reported on nutrition labels. Comparing catechin and epicatechin content - Five organic and five conventionally produced bars were analyzed via RP-HPLC/UV-VIS. Results: Reported iron content ranged from 4-39 %DV (Mode = 10, SD = 11.7). Data sources for iron included: USDA Nutrient laboratories and analytical testing. One company was qualified as exempt; three declined to provide methods. Measured iron content of 6 samples exceeded label value (range: 103-1788%). Three were found to have less than reported label values (range: 19-86%). Catechin content was higher among organic dark chocolate bars (t-test, p=0.003). Catechin content was correlated to price and sugar content (correlation coefficient 0.770, p-value = .009 and -0.729, p-value=.017 respectively). There were no significant correlations with epicatechin content. Conclusion: There is a high level of variability in iron values, how dark chocolate producers obtain data for nutrition labels and factors associated with flavanol content. This highlights a need for standardized methods to determine iron content for labeling dark chocolate bars.
|Commitee:||Lund, Kaleb, Piccinin, Doris|
|Department:||Department of Nutrition|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Food Science, Nutrition|
|Keywords:||Catechin, Dark chocolate, Flavanols, Iron, Nutrition labels, Organic|
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