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Multi-element Determination in Craft Chocolate with Different Cocoa Contents Using Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction and Dilute Acid as Sample Preparation

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This work evaluated the efficiency of an ultrasound-assisted extraction method using diluted acids to determine micronutrients and toxic elements in samples of craft chocolates with different cocoa content. Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Na, P, and Zn were determined through inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and As, Cd, and Pb through inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). For method optimization, the Mixture Plan type simplex-centroid was used, investigating HNO3 (nitric acid), HCl (hydrochloric acid), and CH2O2 (formic acid) in the evaluation of the best extracting solution. The optimal condition indicated the usage of 10 mL of HNO3 (2.0 mol L−1) for extracting analytes from a mass of 200 mg at 50 ± 5 °C for 10 min of sonication. From the optimized method, limits of quantification vary from 0.030 to 15 mg kg−1 for As and P, respectively, and precision is expressed as relative standard deviation (%RSD) below 10%. Aiming to evaluate the influence of cocoa content and the chocolate production region, the method analyzed 17 samples of craft chocolate from two different suppliers. The results were assessed by principal component analysis and demonstrated a possible influence of cocoa planting location in the presence of micronutrients and product concentrations. The concentration range of analytes found in the samples was compared with the daily recommended ingestion (DRI) values, concluding that this follows the maximum recommended values.

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This work was supported by FAPES (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Espírito Santo), CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) and LabPetro/UFES—Laboratório de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento de Metodologias para Análise de Petróleo.

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Correspondence to Maria Tereza Weitzel Dias Carneiro.

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Santana, G.F.R., Rodrigues, R.S., Brandão, G.P. et al. Multi-element Determination in Craft Chocolate with Different Cocoa Contents Using Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction and Dilute Acid as Sample Preparation. Food Anal. Methods 17, 475–485 (2024).

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