Commercial table salt contains sugar? Makes no sense to me.
The main table salt seller in Canada lists sugar in their ingredients for ordinary table salt. In ordinary iodized table salt, you expect to see potassium iodide, as well as an anti-caking agent (calcium silicate). But sugar? I e-mailed the company to inquire about this, but got no reply. I wasn't particularly surprised not to get a reply, as I doubt there is a good reason for adding sugar to salt.
Chowhounds around the world who use ordinary table salt, check your box at home. Does it contain sugar?
I don't have my regular fine salt bottle. It must have been all used up. My coarse sea salt has nothing but sea salt. Since it is coarse, it does not need anticaking agents.
As for your sugar, it is stated that the sugar is needed to stablize iodide.
"Dextrose is added to stabilize the iodide. "
"Iodized table salt contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose (a sugar used to stabilize the iodide) as a dietary supplement to prevent goiter and mental retardation. "
"The “sugar” is actually glucose which is one of
the two simple sugars that make up sucrose, or table sugar (the other is fructose).
Including only about four one-hundredths of a percent (i.e., 0.04%) of this additive
protects or stabilizes the potassium iodide. If no glucose was present, the potassium
iodide would eventually break down into its component parts - namely potassium and
iodide ions. The iodide ions could then combine to form iodine that could actually
vaporize and leave the salt."
Good question about the sea salt, law doc. You would think sea salt might contain iodine, but I haven't looked that up.
As far as labelling, it's my understanding that iodized salt must be stated as such. So when you see salt listed as an ingredient in numerous processed foods, it is not iodized salt.
The question of who needs more iodine in their diet (and who needs less) is another good one. We do know that the lack of it causes goiter, which is why iodine was added to salt, beginning many years ago in North America.
I've read that iodine (iodide?) blood levels in the population at large have decreased, presumably because everybody eats so much processed food, and are getting no iodide from the salt in those processed foods. And of course, at the same time, people are using less iodized salt from their salt shakers at home, either because they don't eat home-cooked food, or perhaps because they use non-iodized salt at home, or they have just cut back on salt altogether.
Personally I use iodized salt at home, I don't skimp when using it, but still my intake of salt is not high because I don't use processed foods.
Brand is Essential Everyday, house brand of Jewel Foods in Chicago. My box says salt, calcium silicate, dextrose, potassium iodide. So, yes, sugar---who knew? You might take a look at USDA Nutrients Database (online), a very thorough and scientific analysis of what's in what.
I'm not sure what they mean by a stabilizing agent. Sugar is a reducing agent and. possibly, is there to be preferentially oxidized by odd stuff like ozone which, conceivably, could attack the potassium iodide and release the iodine. I'm a bit rusty on my chemistry.