What's in Salt?

CODEX STAN 150-1985

(a) food grade salt is the crystalline product consisting predominantly of sodium chloride. It is obtained from the sea, from underground rock salt deposits or from natural brine. This standard applies to salt used as an ingredient of food, both for direct sale to the consumer and for food manufacture. It applies also to salt used as a carrier of food additives and/or nutrients.

(b) shall have a content of NaCl not less than 97% on a dry matter basis exclusive of additives.

(c) may contain the following food additives indicated in the relevant pages of Division 3 as listed below:

Anticaking Agents:

Max. Level in the Final Product:

Calcium and/or Mg Carbonates

20g/kg singly or in combination

Mg Oxide; Tri Cal Phosphate; Silicon Dioxide; Ca, Mg, Na-alumino; Ca-alumino silicates

20g/kg singly or in combination

Al, Ca, Mg, K or Na salts of myristic,           palmitic or stearic acids

20g/kg singly or in combination

Crystal modifiers

10 mg/kg singly or in combination of Na, K or Ca ferrocyanides, expressed as [Fe(CN)6] *For Na and K ferrocyanides, max. level may be 20 mg/kg when used in the preparation of "dendritic" salt.

Polysorbate 80

10 mg/kg


10 mg of residue/kg

(d) Contaminants:

Maximum permitted level


0.5 mg/kg


2 mg/kg


2 mg/kg


0.5 mg/kg


0.1 mg/kg


















(e) in addition to the mandatory requirements found in the General Standard for Labelling of Prepackaged Foods, the following specifications apply:

  • the name of the food shall be "salt". 
  • the name "salt" shall be qualified by a declaration of either "Food Grade" or "Cooking" or "Table"in close priximity to the name.
  • when salt contains one or more ferrocyanide salt added to the brine during the crystallization step, may the term "dendritic" be included in coinjunction with the name.
  • an indication of either the origin or the method of productioj may be declared on the label.
  • where salt is used as a carrier for one or more nutrients, and sold as such for public health reasons, the name of the product shall be qualified to indicate such purpose, e.g. "salt fluoridated", "salt fortified with iron".
  • when salt is used as a carrier for nutrients and sold as such for public health reasons, date marking is needed whenever the shelf life of the product is valid to the end of a given time.

SOURCE: Salt Quality and Refining Technology

Chapter 6 from "Salt Iodization for the Elimination of Iodine Deficiency" by M.G. Venkatesh Mannar and John T. Dunn