Chocolate in the advent calendar

Stiftung Warentest: mineral oil in chocolate advent calendar

Stiftung Warentest warns of contaminated chocolate in Advent calendars. In a recent test, "residues of mineral oil and similar substances were detected in" 24 advent calendars for children, "the Foundation announced. Some of the proven ingredients are suspected of causing cancer. The Christmas anticipation when opening the doors may well be associated with a health risk.

According to the Stiftung Warentest, the chocolate of the advent calendar contained aromatic and non-aromatic hydrocarbons, which are likely to come from the carton of the calendar. The recycled paper used for the production mostly contains residues of printing ink containing mineral oil, which evaporate over time and can be transferred to the chocolate. This was apparently the case for 24 Advent calendars, whereby chocolate was found in nine calendars, according to the Stiftung Warentest's announcement, "even particularly critical substances, aromatic mineral oils", some of which are considered to be potentially carcinogenic. Although the intake of one piece of chocolate per day is relatively small, parents should still use less busy advent calendars for their children. As an alternative, there is, for example, a self-made advent calendar that needs fewer sweets and can be filled with other small surprises.

Nine advent calendars with carcinogenic mineral oil residues Already in 2009 it was clearly demonstrated that mineral oil residues from recycling boxes can pass to the packaged food. It is therefore hardly surprising that residues of mineral oil are also present in the chocolate of the Advent calendar. A possible source is not only the recycled paper, but the mineral oil can also come from machine oils in the production chain, reports the Stiftung Warentest. It is clear that all the advent calendars tested contained mineral oil residues. The testers found the particularly critical aromatic hydrocarbons in nine chocolate calendars. Since "substances suspected of having cancer have no place in food", the products of the "brands Rausch, Confiserie Heilemann, Arko, Riegelein The Simpsons, Feodora milk-fine chocolate, smarties, Hachez advent calendar Beautiful Christmas time as well as Friedel Advent Calendar and Lindt Advent calendar for children“Not recommended, so the Stiftung Warentest concluded. For health reasons, consumers, especially children, should not eat this chocolate.

Increased mineral oil residues in many chocolate advent calendars In addition to aromatic hydrocarbons, non-aromatic mineral oils are also a problem in some advent calendars, according to the Stiftung Warentest. Particularly high levels were found in the calendars of Arko, the Confiserie Heilemann and Rausch. The calendars by Friedel, Reichsgraf / Aldi (north) and the Smurf Advent calendar also showed increased concentrations of non-aromatic hydrocarbons (over 10 milligrams per kilogram). According to the Stiftung Warentest, "toxicological studies" have so far been missing in order to be able to clearly assess "how strongly mineral oils endanger people." However, there are indications that, for example, the short-chain non-aromatic mineral oils accumulate in human tissue. In animal experiments, these mineral oils were also identified as possible triggers for inflammatory symptoms in the liver and correspondingly increased liver values.

Alternatives to the chocolate calendar in demand The Stiftung Warentest summarized which calendars were particularly heavily contaminated with mineral oil residues and other substances, which also provides a picture of the respective calendar so that consumers can find their way around the shop more easily. Since none of the tested products was completely unencumbered, the question arises whether the chocolate advent calendar should not be completely dispensed with. Without adequate replacement, most children are unlikely to agree to this. A self-made Advent calendar, which ideally can be refilled every year, is a worth considering alternative. (fp)

Image: Dagmar Zimmermann /

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