It is good to come to know that Tata has finally agreed that they use Potassium Ferrocyanide as an anti-caking agent, thought they still are not courageous enough to put it on their packet.
It can be noted that Tata is using E 536, the European-approved food additive number for Potassium ferrocyanide, as they are well aware that the moment they put potassium ferrocyanide on their packet, it may scare people away.
However, their claim that it has low toxic content is wrong. www.foodnetindia.com, one of the leading food safety websites in India, has reviewed Tata Salt Lite, raising concerns. The findings are in the public domain and available for everyone to see.
Food Net India says: “Potassium ferrocyanide (E536) which is classified as a neutral salt is used increasingly nowadays in iodised salt as an anti-caking agent. It is slightly toxic, as adding acid to an aqueous solution releases toxic hydrogen cyanide gas. Although not mutagenic, it can cause irritation, if ingested, inhaled, or if it comes into contact with skin. Its adverse effects increase with the increase of quantity and regularity with which it enters the body. It is toxic when consumed in large amounts and accumulates in the body. In Great Britain, the addition of Potassium Ferrocyanide or E-536 to table salt is prohibited.”(Source: http://foodnetindia.in/tata-salt-lite/)
Table salt is manufactured salt minus any natural minerals. Salt is an essential component for our body’s functioning; it is not a dangerous thing. During salt processing, whatever sodium left in comparison to other essential minerals is lost. Also, companies add harmful anti-caking agents to salt. Some of the anti-caking agents contain aluminum, a carcinogenic that can accumulate in human brain, causing neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. (Source: Article titled - Dark side of white salt)
The practice of adding table salt with iodine started way back in the 1920’s in the US as a means to prevent goiters. Goiters, an enlargement of the thyroid gland, is caused by lack of sufficient iodine.
In order to prevent goiters, the iodization of salt was adopted as a cheap and easy method. The practice was quickly adopted elsewhere in Canada and the US, where goiters were common. And iodized salt continues to be used till this day. In India, consumption of iodized salt in goiter-prone areas was promoted under the National Goiter Control Programme (NGCP) in 1962. The programme was modified and renamed as National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Program (NIDDCP) in 1992.
Today, there is an iodine overload as we already gain sufficient iodine from other food sources. Fortification of iodine, thus, is no longer required.
Table salt with its high content of mineral sodium can lead to blood pressure, or hypertension. Increased sodium intake also doubles the risk of heart failure, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. According to Josh Gitalis, US-based clinical nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner, table salt can also lead to autoimmune disease by increasing pro-inflammatory macrophages, increase Th17 cell potency and Il-17 function, as well as impairing Treg cell function.
Vacuum salt or what you can call iodized salt has practically nothing in common with natural salt. While natural salt comes with 84 variant of minerals comprised of trace minerals like silicon, phosphorous and vanadium. Whereas, processed salt is comprised of chemicals such as moisture absorbents and an added iodine.
If iodine is your concern, then most of the adults need about 150 micrograms (mcg) of iodine per day, except for pregnant women, who need about 220 mcg, or people who are iodine deficient. You can get 50 percent of your daily iodine intake from just 1 cup of low-fat yogurt, and one cup of milk provide 59 to 112 percentage of recommended daily iodine intake? Seaweeds are the best source of iodine: You may be able to reach your daily intake with just one gram of these sea plants.
Vacuum salt is dried above 1200 degrees’ Fahrenheit. This excessive heat alone alters the natural chemical structure of the salt. In short, what remains after this process is a chemically cleaned sodium chloride and adding to that is potassium ferrocyanide, which actually doesn’t required at all. (Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/photo-stories/table-salt-can-be-poisonous/photostory/64385362.cms?picid=64385378)
The question is do we really need to add Potassium ferrocyanide in salt as an anti-caking agent when natural salts are available without any chemical additives.