Iodized Salt

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Many granulated table salts and some sea salts are fortified with potassium iodide to help prevent devastating iodide deficiency (below). This practice began in the United States in 1924. Because iodide is sensitive to acidity, manufacturers usually supplement iodized salt with stabilizing traces of sodium carbonate or thiosulfate and sugar. When dissolved in chlorinated tap water, iodized salt can develop a distinct seaweed-like iodine odor, the result of a reaction between the iodide and chlorine compounds.