Heavy Metals (HM)
What are Heavy Metals (HM)?
Heavy Metals are naturally occurring elements such as Lead, Copper, Iron, Cadmium, Tin and Gold.
Most heavy metals are relatively harmless however if consumed in quantity can be toxic, so legal limits have been set. Cadmium and Lead are the heavy metals relevant to chillies.
Typical Causes of Heavy Metal Contamination
Heavy metals can be absorbed by plants and animals from the following sources:
- Groundwater, soil or the sea.
- The environment if introduced by nearby Industrial processes, vehicle exhaust emissions, mining or agricultural practices as some pesticides and fertilisers contain heavy metals.
Heavy metal contamination can occur from the above sources but also during food processing and storage:
- Cadmium – from air and/or process water.
- Lead – from lead pipes delivering process water and/or nearby major roads with high volumes of exhaust emissions.
How does the Chilli Doctor Technical Team Manage Heavy Metal Levels?
- Knowledge of the supply chain.
- Informing each supplier of chillies of the heavy metal requirements and only those who can guarantee legislative compliance are approved.
- Assessing the level of supplier knowledge about preventing excess heavy metal contamination to ensure it is adequate.
- Each chilli product is tested every harvest by an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory using an approved method for Cadmium and Lead levels to guarantee legislative compliance in the country of sale.