Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Decisions: Salt


Sea Salt Labelling

Question: Is sea salt, which has not been iodized, a permitted ingredient of a food?

Answer: Yes, sea salt, which has not been iodized, is permitted as an ingredient of a food. Section B.17.003 of the Food and Drug Regulations requires only salt for table or general household use to be iodized. Consequently, when salt or sea salt is sold for table or general household use, it must be iodized.

Sea salt (note the singular "salt"), as an ingredient, does not have to meet the standard for salt in section B.17.001 of the Food and Drug Regulations. However, sea salt sold for table or general household use must meet the standard in section B.17.001.  Also, sea salt must have come from the sea rather than from a mine.

When sea salt is used as an ingredient, the same component exemption provided under B.01.009 (1), item 20, for salt is applicable to sea salt.

The words "sea salts" (note the plural "salts") are acceptable for listing in the ingredient list. Unlike sea salt (singular), "sea salts" (plural) are a mixture of sodium chloride and other mineral salts.   "Sea salts" must not meet the standard for salt and do not have to be iodized.  "Sea salts" must be made from sea water, not by mining.  A complete component listing is necessary, since it is not exempt under Section B.01.009 of the Food and Drug Regulations. (08/March/91)


Salt That Does Not Contain 0.01% Potassium Iodide

Question: What is the common name for a natural mineral rock salt, 98.32% sodium chloride, that does not have 0.01% potassium iodide?

Answer: B.17.003 of the Food and Drug Regulations requires that salt for general household or table use shall contain 0.01% potassium iodide and that the presence of the iodide shall be shown on the principal display panel. The addition of the iodide is required to help in the prevention of goiter. As the product does not comply with B.17.003, it cannot be sold to consumers for general household or table use. A common name that indicates the use, such as "salt for pickling" would be acceptable. Alternatively, the product may be sold for further processing and called "salt". (05/June/1998)