Granulated Table Salt

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Granulated table salts come in the form of small, regular, cubic crystals, are the densest salts, and take the longest to dissolve. Standard table salt is often supplemented with additives, as much as 2% of the total weight, that prevent the crystal surfaces from absorbing moisture and sticking to each other. These additives include aluminum and silicon compounds of sodium and calcium, silicon dioxide—the material of glass and ceramics—and magnesium carbonate. Other compounds called humectants may be added to keep these additives from excessive drying and caking. Most anticaking additives do not dissolve as readily as salt, and cloud the brines for pickled vegetables, so specialized pickling salts omit them. These additives may also contribute slight undesirable tastes of their own.