What are Mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins are a group of naturally occurring chemicals produced by some types of mould and are typically found growing on a variety of different crops and foodstuffs including cereals, nuts, spices, dried fruits, apple juice and coffee.


It has been found
that Mycotoxins can be responsible for a variety of extremely powerful health effects such as DNA damage and cancer, kidney and liver damage, gastrointestinal disturbances, reproductive disorders or suppression of the immune system.

There are numerous varieties of mycotoxins, however the moulds of most concern from a food safety perspective include the aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, patulin and also toxins produced by Fusarium moulds.

Some of the most toxic are Aflatoxins, including aflatoxin B1, which have been shown to be genotoxic (damages the genetic information within a cell causing mutations – which may lead to cancer).

Moulds can contaminate food at any stage i.e. during growing, storage and processing phases. Producers generally have to adhere to several practices to keep the conditions unfavourable for any type of mould growth,  and many of these include using unpleasant chemicals, fungicides and insecticides.

Moulds like warm and humid conditions such as those found in the tropics. Mycotoxins can therefore be a particular problem for coffee (particularly the mycotoxin Ochratoxin A) and also spices.

Mould, Toxins, and Chocolate

There is good reason to believe that much of the world’s chocolate supply is contaminated with high levels of mould toxins. A study in Brazil found that 98% of the regular brands of powdered, bitter, dark, milk and white chocolate were contaminated with ochratoxin and 80% of all samples were tainted with some form of mould toxin. Powdered, bitter, and dark chocolate was higher in mycotoxins than most other forms, with powdered chocolate having the most. They were all especially high in aflatoxin and ochratoxin. The problem unfortunately starts because cacao trees are often infected with fungi and moulds. Roasting mouldy beans destroys almost all of the actual fungi, but it doesn’t destroy all of the toxins already produced by the fungi.

So this is basically telling us that commodity cocoa beans processed in sub-optimal conditions are often high in mould toxins. Fortunately, only the finest production methods to minimise mould and fungi formation in Upgraded™ Chocolate products, keeping your mind and body sharp.

What makes Bulletproof® coffee and cacao different?

Upgraded™ Cacao Butter is made using an optimised process to create chocolate without the toxins that make chocolate such a common source of problems.

Bulletproof® Coffee is carefully produced and lab tested using the Bulletproof™ Process to target the lowest toxin content vs. normal coffee, so you get all the benefits of coffee without the negative health effects.

Upgraded™ beans are harvested in Central and South America from passive organic estates without chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, etc.). Each bean is hand-picked by experienced coffee harvesters – skilled people who only pick perfectly ripe berries. Most modern coffee producers just pick whatever they see, including unripe and damaged beans alongside the ripe ones, which impacts how the coffee tastes and makes you feel.

Most coffee beans are processed by leaving them in the sun and elements to wither and dry, or by pressing them and letting them ferment to remove the outer layer of the bean. Unfortunately, both of these techniques are known to produce significant levels of performance-robbing mould-toxins.

For Bulletproof® Coffee, they pick the ripest cherries, using the Bulletproof® Process to create a special class of green coffee bean without the harmful moulds, bacteria, and toxins. The beans are then medium roasted in small batches in United States under the strictest conditions, which minimises the formation of toxins from the roasting process. Roasting the beans actually enhances their antioxidant capacity and flavour to provide you with a healthier, tastier cup of coffee.

We are extremely proud to stock Bulletproof® Coffee here at Functional Self in the United Kingdom – UK (shipping worldwide). We highly recommend you try some today.