Warning as researchers find popular chocolate products contain cancer-causing chemical

Some store-bought chocolate desserts may contain dangerous chemicals that could damage your DNA and cause cancer, scientists warn.

Scientists have discovered that popular delicacies such as pancakes, waffles and cakes contain high amounts of carcinogens released during the production process.

These compounds are created when cocoa beans are roasted to help give desserts their chocolate flavor during preparation.

Scientists warn that they can evade detection because they are not ingredients deliberately added to products.

Researchers found that popular treats such as pancakes, waffles and cakes contained high levels of the genotoxic compound furan, which contains carcinogens. DISCLAIMER: The researchers did not specify which brands they tested, but these are possible desserts that could contain chemicals

Researchers at the Louvain Institute of Biomolecular Sciences and Technology (IBST) in Belgium reported that the molecules, called α,β-unsaturated carbonyls, are formed when cocoa beans are roasted and when cocoa butter is added.

It’s a phenomenon mostly found in mass-produced treats, the academics said, because companies use higher baking temperatures that release more complex flavors and aromas in their products.

When consumed, carbonyls can damage DNA by interacting with proteins and enzymes in human stomachs that can cause cells to divide more rapidly, turning normal cells into cancerous ones.

The researchers examined 22 desserts with and without chocolate, including pancakes, waffles, cakes and cookies.

The researchers did not tell which brands, but said they included «national and distributor brands that were bought in Belgian supermarkets».

That’s what they found out packaged treats like cookies and pancakes had lower concentrations of 9 out of 10 carbonyls.

Conversely, pancakes, waffles and cakes had the highest amount of the toxic substance, at 4.3 milligrams per kilogram – the recommended amount is just 0.15 total milligrams per day.

Cake was one of the top desserts that contained the most cancer-causing genotoxins, a study revealed

Cake was one of the top desserts that contained the most cancer-causing genotoxins, a study revealed

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«Although these carbonyls occur naturally in many foods, they are also used as flavoring additives and some have been banned in the European Union,» the press release said.

The team that conducted the chocolate study said they hope their findings will provide a better understanding of how and where carbonyls form in chocolate.

They also hope the study «highlights the importance of monitoring food aromas to keep consumers informed and safe.»

Dr. Alexandre Dusart, lead author of the study and a researcher at IBST, told that research is still ongoing to understand the «key parameters» of the «harmful compounds» and reduce their presence in food.

«The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) should carry out risk assessments in such matters,» Dusart said.

«Based on this, risk management authorities should take appropriate measures to protect consumers.»

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