ChocoSAFE is an online tool developed to help producers, processors, and exporters know if their cacao meets the requirements of the food safety regulations once processed into a product for the EU market.

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In what context is this tool useful?

With 2019 implementation of a European Union (EU) regulation that strictly limits the amount of cadmium permitted in cacao and its products, farmers and other value chain actors need to know if their cacao can be made into products that meet the food safety standards. This is not straightforward. Different limits apply to different products, depending on the product composition and consumer characteristics.

Choco SAFE explains the EU regulations and helps users calculate an estimated level of cadmium allowed in the raw materials – either cacao beans or nibs – for different “recipes” of chocolate products, based on the percentage of cacao ingredients they contain. Cacao ingredients include cacao mass or liquor, cacao butter, and cacao powder. Based on these figures, the tool reverse calculates how much cadmium can be tolerated in the nibs.

The Choco SAFE tool will be improved and further developed within the new multidisciplinary research project financially supported by the EU “Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture” (DeSIRA) initiative that will support the countries to adapt regarding the cacao-cadmium issue. The project is led by the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT and includes partners in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru and will address knowledge gaps and capacity building needs related to cadmium in cacao.

Project Expectations


Results will be included here as they emerge. If you use the tool and have results to share, please contact Mirjam Pulleman (below)