A new study has warned that cooking with iodised table salt and chloraminated tap water could put potentially harmful toxins in the food.
Researchers from the Nanjing University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in China have found several molecules, which are completely new to scientists and are created by cooking with iodised table salt and chloraminated tap water.
They said that cooking with table salt fortified with iodate rather than iodide, and also limiting cooking time and temperature, could be safest.
The tap water is disinfected before we use it in cooking or drink it. This is done in several ways, like by adding chlorine or molecules called chloramines, which are made using ammonia.
These two processes- chloramination and chlorination have some effect on the chemical make-up of the water. Chloramines or chlorine in tap water can react with iodised table salt, which is added to food and creates a kind of acid known as hypoiodous acid, according to the researchers.
This in itself is not a cause for concern; but the hypoiodous acid can then react with the organic matter in the tap water and the food to create cooking I-DBPs (iodinated disinfection byproducts) molecules, which are almost completely new to them.
For this study, researchers have identified some molecules and also tested their toxicity.
Researchers have found new I-DBPs and analysed them. They also simulated cooking with various types of tap water at varying time and temperature, and also added iodised salt and wheat flour to see what I-DBPs will be formed.
They have identified 14 completely new molecules and also determined the structure of 9 molecules, using the cutting-edge chemistry techniques.
Further, they carried out the tests to see how toxic 9 of the molecules are, where they found that some of these molecules are 50 to 200 times more toxic than others.
This study was published in the Water Research journal.