Until being asked this question, I had no idea what a sulfite was nor if K-cups contained them. I like to think of myself as pretty savvy about food ingredients and reading labels but, apparently I have a lot to learn!
Sulfites have been used as a preservative in foods and medications for centuries. They come in various forms including sulfur dioxide (a close cousin), potassium bisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, sodium bisufite, sodium metabisufite and sodium sulfite.
Why do we care?
Most of you probably don't. But, to a small handful that have severe allergies to sulfites, this is a very important topic. Especially if they are in your precious morning K-cup coffee. Sulfites are considered one of the top food allergens ranking amongst milk, peanuts and shell fish. Exactly why certain people react to this preservative is unknown but it seems that those who suffer from asthma, allergies and aspirin sensitivity are particularly at risk. An allergic reaction to sulfites can vary including, a flushed face, itchy skin, swelling, trouble breathing, weakness and cramps. Thankfully, anaphylaxis and life threatening situations are rare.
How do I know if my food, medication, beverages (or Kcup pods) contain sulfites?
Start with the label but, that may not help. Manufacturers are only required to report that their product contains sulfites if they specifically add it as a preservative or if it contains over 10ppm. Anything under that count is considered negligible. If you suffer from a sulfite allergy there are certain food that you should avoid such as dried fruits, potato chips, shrimp, sauerkraut maraschino cherries, bottled lemon and lime juice and instant coffee as they are pretty much guaranteed to contain a form of this preservative.
Please take note, that says instant coffee, not ground coffee that you find in Keurig K-cups, there is a huge difference. Keurig K-cup coffees do not contain sulfites with the exception of two (as of this date)- Golden French Toast and Hazelnut. Those two flavors do contain sulfites but, less than <10ppm so it will not appear on the label. In addition, once brewed the count drops to <1ppm making the content almost nothing. However, I certainly would not blame a sulfite allergy sufferer for avoiding both of those K-cups no matter how low the content of sulfites is.I am by no means offering any sort of medical advice, if you think you may be suffering from any sort of allergy please consult a physician for recommendations on which foods to avoid. I also can not speak for any K-cup that is not Keurig approved. My information is and always will be in reference to Keurig approved K-cup coffees.
You may also like:
- Click here to read more about Keurig K-cup allergen information.
- Are Keurig K-cups gluten free?
- How much caffeine is in a Keurig K-cup?