What is a heavy metal?
Heavy metals are defined as metals with high densities, atomic weights, or atomic numbers.
There are four main heavy metals of concern in relation to human food consumption: lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury. This is because while not all exposure to heavy metals presents a risk of harm, certain heavy metals can be toxic to human health with long term or high level exposure as the body does not have means of removing them from the body easily, and a limited detoxification process in the liver.
Each of these heavy metals is found naturally in the earth’s soil and are often used in manufacturing products such as cosmetics, paint and electronics.
What’s this got to do with protein powder?
Since heavy metals are naturally occurring in the earth’s soil, things grown in the soil, plants and foods etc, can absorb small amounts of heavy metals. They could also be more concentrated in animals and fish/seafood who eat the plants. For example there is concern about high mercury levels in fish such as Tuna.
In exactly the same way plants can absorb minerals that are good for your health from the soil, they can also absorb small amounts of heavy metals.
So how do you protect against this?
Form’s ingredients are highest quality, GMO free and organic wherever possible. They are as minimally processed as possible to retain maximum nutrition.
To check and guard against heavy metals there are two processes in our quality assurance testing.
- All incoming raw materials are tested and supplied with a Certificate of Analysis confirming the level of heavy metals are below the accepted safe levels for human consumption.
- Finished products are independently tested by a third party specialist UKAS accredited laboratory, One Scientific to verify this.
Are there really heavy metals in common foods?
Yes, as mentioned, heavy metals are naturally occurring in nature. A good source is the US FDA Total Diet Study. which looked at the heavy metal content in common foods. It is important to note these are all naturally occurring levels. A selection of these results are presented below.
|Food||Arsenic (ppb)||Lead (ppb)||Cadium (ppb)||Mercury (ppb)|
|Cucumber (peeled, raw)||13||n/a||1.3||n/a|
What are the safe levels of heavy metals?
This varies a bit depending on the regulatory authorities. In the UK and EU:
Arsenic – no level established
Lead – 3mg/kg
Cadium – 1mg/kg
Mercury – 0.1mg/kg
With the testing of both incoming raw materials and finished products you can be assured usage of Form products falls well and safely below these levels.
|Heavy Metal||Safe Level||Form Test Level*||%age below safe level|
|Arsenic||No level established||0.014mg/kg||–|
* representative recent test results, since every batch and test can vary recent test results are available below.
Latest test results are available below:
|Product||Testing Laboratory||Laboratory Accreditation||Test Results|
|Performance Chocolate Peanut||One Scientific Ltd||UKAS Testing Laboratory No. 2048||Download|
|Performance Vanilla||One Scientific Ltd||UKAS Testing Laboratory No. 2048||Download|
|Superblend Chocolate Salted||One Scientific Ltd||UKAS Testing Laboratory No. 2048||Download|
|Pureblend||One Scientific Ltd||UKAS Testing Laboratory No. 2048||Download|
|Peakblend Chocolate Peanut||One Scientific Ltd||UKAS Testing Laboratory No. 2048||Download|
|Peakblend Banoffee||One Scientific Ltd||UKAS Testing Laboratory No. 2048||Download|
Where can I learn more?
The European Food Safety Authority has good resources on contaminants in food as well as details on current regulations.