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I have seen and read some comments from the post: What is the difference between sea salt and regular table salt?

My questions are.

  1. Does Rock or Natural salt contain iodine?
  2. Does Table Salt contain Iodine or has Iodine been removed?
  3. Does "Iodised" / "Iodized" table salt have Iodine added?

I have been having a discussion with a friend on whether Iodine is added to salt.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Iodine is commonly added to table salt, hence the term "Iodized".

This is purely a public health issue, much like fluoridation of water. The human body needs small quantities of Iodine for good health, and salt was the method chosen to give it to us. Just as fluoride is added to water, and Vitamin D is added to milk. It actually has nothing to do with the product, it's just a convenient carrier.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodised_salt for more information.

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Does Iodine naturally occur in salt? –  Valamas Nov 10 '11 at 22:05
@Valamas No for all practical purposes. See the Wikipedia article on sea salt, if it is present at all, then it is one of the "minor constituents" which are 0.01% taken all together. And for your question 2, if there was iodine in the salt in the first place, they wouldn't remove it - it would be expensive and serve no purpose. –  rumtscho Nov 10 '11 at 22:37
This page blog.realsalt.com/2010/08/… states "Real Salt does contain naturally-occurring iodine". So I am still looking for a concise answer. Sure, the gut reaction is to believe wikipedia which I usually do. –  Valamas Nov 10 '11 at 22:53
@Valamas: Rest of that quote: "but not enough to satisfy the recommended daily allowance of 150 micrograms." I think the recommended daily salt intake is order of 2 grams, so in order to get 150 micrograms it'd have to be 0.0075% iodine. And like rumtscho pointed out, the total of all the "minor constituents" is only 0.01%. "No for all practical purposes" and "yes, a teeny tiny bit" are consistent. –  Jefromi Nov 10 '11 at 23:46
Also, from one of the references on the wikipedia page: "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) recommends...equivalent to 46–76 mg I/kg salt." and ""It is a myth (often also false advertising) that “natural” sea salt contains significant amounts of iodine. The iodide content of seawater is only...2.1 mg I/kg NaCl. ... In evaporatively prepared salt, the iodide/chloride ratio is even lower because of iodine loss; crystallization processes leave iodide selectively in the mother liquor. ... <0.7 mg I/kg." –  Jefromi Nov 10 '11 at 23:49

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