Are Nespresso Pods Safe?

Yes. Nespresso pods are safe for your health. Although it has some issues regarding human health, the key negatives truly fall on the environmental aspects. We’ll address both of these parts in this article.

The world of coffee is a diverse one, with many different types to choose from. You can use freshly ground beans or pods for your morning fix!

Coffee pods are single-served and made of plastic, aluminum, or other materials. The Nespresso pod has an aluminum body all over itself. But are Nespresso pods safe? Specifically, is aluminum good for health?

Here is the point of our health concern. Keep an eye on the next section to know the details.

Inside of a Nespresso Pod

Nespresso pods are small-sized single-serving coffee pods of the Swiss brand Nestlé. It was introduced by Eric Favre in 1976. These pods or capsules contain 5-7 grams of pre-ground coffee. The amount is perfect for serving a single cup of coffee. It produces 40 ml of an espresso shot. You can also pour 110 ml Lungo from a pod.

Pods became popular as it is more convenient to brew a cup than any other option. The manufacturer sources the highest-quality premium coffee beans. These beans are pulped, fermented, and washed, then dried. Then, they blend, roast, and grind in their methods. Ground coffee beans are directly put into capsules and sealed right away. So, it never comes to contact with oxygen, light, and moisture. As a result, pods have more shelf life than other types of ground coffees. Each pod ensures the best flavor and aroma in each cup due to the airtight seal.

Both the body and perforated top of Nespresso pods are made of aluminum. A layer of food-grade lacquer is inside the pod. So, it can prevent potential aluminum health effects. However, third parties use plastic, aluminum, and other materials to make coffee pods.

These pods are airtight as it is hermetically sealed. It protects coffee grounds from moisture, oxygen, and light. So degradation of coffee grounds has no chance to place. As a result, the pre-ground coffee sits fresh since you brew the pod. There are 28 types of different Original Line pods of Arabica and Robusta. And, seasonally, limited editions are released.

What Is BPA? Are Nespresso Pods BPA-Free?

Bisphenol A is usually known as BPA, a colorless solid. It is a chemical compound that uses to produce many plastic materials. Though BPA is soluble in organic solvents, it is less soluble in water. It has weak effects on hormones but is very effective lifelong.

It is good news for all Nespresso drinkers that the Nespresso pods are BPA-free. The manufacturer stated that they never use plastics in their Nespresso pods. They only use aluminum to make the coffee pods, both the body and perforated top.

What Is The Concern About Aluminum?

Aluminum is the most used material for packaging foods. It has a less harmful effect on human health. But still, health concerns rise as the use of aluminum also rises. Some health-conscious relate aluminum to some diseases. These include depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, autism, and auto-immune disease. They believe using excessive aluminum is the reason to lead these diseases.

Except for health issues, aluminum has a remarkable impact on the environment. Though it is a recyclable material, aluminum wastage is increasing each day. Let’s go to the next section to understand how this affects the environment.

Environmental Concerns

Nowadays, single-serving coffee pods of Nespresso are so popular worldwide. Despite its popularity, it impacts badly on the environment. It contributes several thousand tons of aluminum trash to the environment. As a result, it threats our future.

Each capsule or pod contributes 1g of aluminum waste. The manufacturer states that they had full capacity to recycle their pods. Thus, only 24.6% were recycled all over the world before 2015. Then, they increased the recycling capacity by 80% of the aluminum waste of coffee pods. To reach this point, they set capsule collection system in 36 countries in 2017. Recycling is more accessible in France and Switzerland as both are the largest buyers. The manufacturer took on various projects and collaborations to increase awareness. They made bicycles and ballpoint pens out of recycled Nespresso coffee pods.

Nonetheless, the remaining 20% of aluminum coffee pods are out of the recycling. These pods mix with other garbage and go to landfills. As a result, it creates an imbalance in the environment and threats our resources. It is the responsibility of the users not to mix aluminum pods with other garbage.

Third-party coffee pods are mostly made of plastics and aluminum. If you use these pods but not recycling properly, you are threatening the environment in the worst way. Even, it can harm your health.

Other Problems With Nespresso Pods

Coffee pods or capsules can contain harmful chemicals which lead to health problems. It has a toxic chemical Furan, responsible for damaging the liver. Furan gets created during the roasting process at high temperatures. It can lead to carcinogens. Furan is an aromatic and colorless organic compound of carbon atoms and an oxygen atom. This flammable, volatile liquid has a low boiling point of 31.3˚. And it is close to room temperature.

Coffee grounds from the pods contain more Furan than traditional coffee grounds. The amount of Furan varies due to the preparation methods. It is an outcome of research by Javier Santos of the University of Barcelona. The level of Furan is higher as Nespresso pods are hermetically sealed. So, the chemical cannot release and goes into cups.

The good news is, each pod has a trivial amount of Furan. So, 1-2 cups a day will not harm you at all. But, excessive consumption will cross the line and affect your health in the worst possible ways.

Note: To get a potentially harmful amount of furan from your pod coffee, you’d have to drink at least 20 cups of capsule coffee per day! For comparison, it would take 30 cups of espressos or 200 cups of instant coffee per day to get affected by the Furan in the coffee.

Alternatives To Regular Coffee Pods

Though coffee pods are popular, it is not the only way to get a luscious cup of coffee. The traditional grounds are the freshest and right thing to brew. Else, more options you can have.

  • Use ground coffee that is freshly ground right before the brew. So, you will get the perfect aroma and flavors in the final cups
  • Use coffee bags of E.S.E. (Easy serving espresso pods). Before buying, check out the major key features that pleasure your needs
  • Reusable coffee pods are great picks as well. It can reduce the number of pods for daily use
  • Use compostable coffee pods that are easy to compost

Your Responsibility As A Consumer

Of course, for coffee pods, recycling is the manufacturer’s responsibility. But, the consumers can actively contribute to it. The manufacturers collect their aluminum Nespresso pods from 36 countries. Still, more consumers are outside of these areas. So, you can act like a concerned civilian who knows where your trash should go.

You must throw away the aluminum pods into the recyclable waste. Even if the used pods cannot reach the manufacturer, they can recycle into other products. This way, aluminum won’t be mixed with other garbage and never goes to landfills. So, your consciousness and micro-action can save the environment.


Do Nespresso Pods Expire?

The manufacturer puts a date for using best before. It indicates the topmost freshness, aroma, and flavor of ground coffee. So, you can consider this date as expiry.

Do Nespresso Capsules Have Food Allergens?

In packets, Nespresso does not mention any allergen information. But, they stated that capsules do not contain any allergen components or gluten. You can find this information on their website too.

Does Nespresso coffee contain acrylamide?

Acrylamide is so common in cooked foods. You will find it in chips, cookies, and even bread. The level of acrylamide in coffee is below the reference level.

Is Nespresso mold free?

The coffee inside of the Nespresso pods is mold-free. Nespresso pods are hermetically sealed. So, no chance for molds. But, mold can grow inside the Nespresso machine. Clean every day after use. Then, mold never grows up on the Nespresso machine.

Are Nespresso pods toxic?

No, Nespresso pods are not toxic. Using Nespresso pods will not harm your health. Be aware of drinking an excessive amount of coffee drinking. It is not fair for health.

Are Nespresso Pods Safe? – Final Thoughts

Throughout our discussion, we hope that you’ve thoroughly understood that Nespresso pods are not harmful to health. The aluminum pods are safe to use. It neither mixes with your drink nor degrades the quality.

But, be conscious of recycling these aluminum pods. You cannot throw it out in the kitchen garbage or any other place. It should be in a recyclable waste container. As a result, you can save the environment and aluminum resources. So, enjoy your favorite flavor of Nespresso pods.

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