Sea salt is obtained from the salty ocean water as it is channeled into large ponds and allowed to evaporate into salt layers. The salt that is left behind is in many different colors, and can range from gray, to pink and a tan color. The color of the salt largely depends on which ocean the salt is harvested from.
Sea salt is generally good for you as it contains many essential trace minerals. But refined sea salt is often stripped of those minerals and also contains similar ingredients as table salt. Therefore you should always check the labels to see how much refining (if any) the salt has been through.
Refined Sea Salt is Basically the Same as Table Salt
The key is to look for colored salt as the color indicates that it still contains minerals.
What It Contains
Refined sea salt can contain some or all of the ingredients that table salt contains, and they include iodine, stabilizers, anti-caking agents and added sugar.
Iodine. Iodine is often added to refined sea salt, as it is an essential mineral. It is added in the form of potassium iodide, which then needs to be stabilized with glucose (sugar), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), or sodium carbonate so that it does not break down into iodine before you consume it.
Refined sea salt may also contain anti-caking agents which help to keep the salt free running. Some of the most popular agents that are used are sodium alumino-silicate and alumino-calcium silicate, both of which are aluminum based. Aluminum is naturally bitter, and thus it is neutralized with a form of sugar, so that you cannot taste the bitterness.
Depending on how much refining the salt has been through, it may have been stripped of all of its natural minerals as well. Therefore you should always check the label to see whether or not it still contains any minerals. If it doesn’t contain any minerals other than sodium and chloride, and it contains the above ingredients, then it basically is the same as table salt. Do not be deceived into buying sea salt that is the same as table salt. Click here for the differences between the table salt and unrefined sea salt.