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Good to Know - Salts & Additives

Updated: May 9, 2023

By Zoe Mackey

Do you like enhancing your culinary creations with fun colored salts? Believe it or not, there are different rules for different products.

First off, pink salts: Himalayan pink versus Hawaiian sea salt

They both are pink, so what’s the difference? Hawaiian pink salt adds volcanic clay called alaea. The red clay is what gives it the beautiful pink color. Himalayan pink salt gets its pink color from minerals leftover in the sea salt.

Another colored salt popping up in popularity is Hawaiian black lava salt!

This salt gets its black color from either clay or activated charcoal.

Big takeaway: Pink Himalayan salt is allowed for use. Pink Hawaiian and black lava salt is not allowed for use.

A rule of thumb to keep in mind is look at the ingredient list: make sure that special salt you want to use lists salt or purified saltwater. If a product has any additives, it’s not approved for use.

(ABOVE) This is the ingredient label for Himalayan pink salt. See how there are no clays or charcoal on the ingredients list?

(LEFT) Highlighted in yellow, "activated charcoal" is clearly listed on the ingredient label for Hawaiian black lava salt.

Additional information on colored salts can be found here: FDA Guidance on Salts


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