Salt vs Iodized Salt
Salt is essential in our food. Apart from adding a flavor, it is a nutrient needed for the body. Various additives can be mixed with salt to enhance its nutritional value. Iodine is one such additive. In the market, there are both, iodized salt and non iodized salt. Normally, people don’t consciously look for iodized salt when they buy. But it is advisable to get iodized salt in order to prevent various health problems.
Salt or sodium chloride, which we use in food, can be easily produced from sea water (brine). This is done in large scale, because people from every corner of the world use salt for their food every day. Sea water contains high concentrations of sodium chloride, therefore, accumulating it on an area and by letting the water evaporate using solar energy yield sodium chloride crystals. The water evaporation is done in several tanks, and in the first tank sand or clay in sea water is deposited. The salty water from this tank is sent to another one in where; calcium sulfate is deposited as the water evaporates. In the final tank, salt is deposited and along with it, other impurities like magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate are also settling. These salts are then collected into small mountains and allow staying there for a certain period. During this period other impurities may dissolve and somewhat pure salt can be obtained. Salt is also obtained from mining rock salt, which is also called halite. The salt in rock salt is somewhat purer than the salt obtained from brine. Rock salt is a NaCl deposit resulted from evaporating ancient oceans millions of years ago. Large deposits like this are found in Canada, America, and China, etc. The extracted salt in various ways is purified to make it suitable for consumption and this is known as table salt. Other than using in food, salt has many other usages. For example, it is used in chemical industries for various purposes and as a source of Chloride. Further, it is used in cosmetics as an exfoliator.
In order to make iodized salt, people add inorganic iodine sources like potassium iodate, potassium iodide, sodium iodate or sodium iodide to refined salt. Iodine is a trace element which is needed in our body. Thyroid gland act as the iodine storage and for its efficient functioning in making hormones like thyroxin, triiodothyronine and calcitonin, iodine is required. Goiter or swollen thyroid glands are a symptom of iodine deficiency. Moreover, iodine deficiency can result in hypothyroidism, which is characterized with fatigue, slow metabolism, etc. 150 μg of iodine is required daily for a healthy body. We get some of our iodine from plants, meat, sea food, etc. Iodized salt is given to people with the iodine deficiencies to overcome the problems. Iodized salt is readily available in the market and there is no distinguishable taste between normal salt and iodized salt.
What are the differences between Salt and Iodized Salt?
– Iodized salt contains iodine additives, whereas, salt doesn’t.
– Salt may have traces of several other minerals, but iodized salt is pure.
– Iodized salt is important to minimize iodine deficiency syndromes. Normal sea salt may contain minute concentrations of iodine, but it is not enough to fulfill the daily requirement of iodine.