potassium iodate table salt structure

Did You Know Potassium Iodate Is Iodating Your Table Salt?

The Iodated Table Salt in Your Kitchen

Did you know your table salt most likely contains iodine? You have potassium iodate to thank for that. In an effort to revitalize iodine in the American’s everyday diet during the 1920s, the government sanctioned the inclusion of potassium iodate to combat a growing goiter epidemic– as we were dubbed “the goiter belt.” (We’re not the only ones who imbue our salt with iodine, 120 countries iozide their salt, including Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Switzerland.)



Goiters are simply an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Potassium iodate’s role in their reduction has somewhat diminished in present times, as many food sources are now chalk-full of iodine. (Including our drinking water.) Thousands of Americans suffering from iodine deficiencies today attribute their goiters to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease. You can invite iodine into your diet naturally with eggs, cod, shrimp, and seaweed.


The takeaway? Historically, potassium iodate is responsible for helping the US recover from an influx of goiter disorders, but in today’s landscape, iodized salt may not be the healthiest due to impurities.


The bottomline: you can thank potassium iodate for iodized table salt in the US, but potassium iodide (which we’ll discuss at length soon) has slowly has made its way into iodized table salt too.

What Is Ionization?

In brief, iodized salt is simply table salt mixed with an iodine based agent. For our purposes, we’re focusing on potassium iodate, but other sources include potassium iodide (KI) and iodine itself. As far as details go, when salt is “iodated” it has done so through contact with potassium iodate. Salt iodization techniques include dry mixing, drip freed addition, and spray mixing.


But do we still have to rely on iodized salt?


The short answer is, not really.


The New York Times reported most Americans have a limited risk for iodine deficiency while eating a balanced diet. So, why are we still infusing our salt with iodine? Because the market is thriving! The Global Iodized Salt Market trend reports project the iodized salt market to continue rising in 2018 and beyond.


Potassium Iodate & Potassium Iodide

Try googling potassium iodate and you’ll find an unusually healthy dose of results for potassium iodide. Earnestly, this may be a mishap because the chemicals are similarly named. However, each substance is used in adding iodine to salt and responding to radioactivity in the thyroid. (Although it would seem the overwhelming majority prefer iodide in the treatment of radioactive iodine.) Yet overall, both iodate and iodide are sources of stable iodine.


What Is Potassium Iodate?

Potassium iodate (KIO3) is an ionic compound with a molar mass of 214.001 g/mol. Soluble in alcohol, liquid ammonia, and nitric acid, potassium iodate is typically used in analysis testing for zinc and arsenic, a component of common disinfectants, a maturing agent, disease prevention for animals, topical antiseptic, feed additive, thyroid radiation, and table salt. The chemical typically appears as a crystalline powder. Potassium iodate is hazardous and should only be handled by industry professionals.


Potassium Iodate from Noah Chemicals

Potassium Iodate is available from Noah Chemicals in a variety of amounts. We also offer bulk ordering. Send our in-house chemists a shout to discuss unique project needs today! Feel free to browse our online catalog for a complete offering list from Noah Chemicals.


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