Food With Ionic Compounds


Examples of Ionic Compounds in Everyday Life. Did you know that iodine is an essential mineral? It’s a component of hormones, a catalyst for our energy-producing mechanism, and an activator for some enzymes. But, dietary deficiency in iodine can cause thyroid disease! Find out the top 10 sources of dietary iodine, plus a list of foods that you should avoid if you’re trying to achieve optimum nutrition.


Food With Ionic compound

Iodine can be found in a number of foods, but it’s most common in seafood. Eating a diet rich in fish can help you get enough iodine to experience the benefits it offers. According to the National Institutes of Health, these eight foods are some of the best sources of iodine available.

  1. Seaweed
    Hands down, seaweed is the best source of iodine available. A 10 gram serving of dried nori seaweed (the type of seaweed used in sushi) contains up to 232 mcg of iodine, more than 1.5 times the daily required minimum. 
  2. Cod
    Seafood in general is a great source of iodine, but cod is particularly healthy. A three-ounce serving of baked cod contains 158 mcg of iodine, which meets your daily minimum. 
  3. Iodized Salt
    Salt or table salt for human food use to which iodide has not been added shall bear the statement, “This salt does not supply iodide, a necessary nutrient.”
  4. Nonfat Milk
    Aside from seafood, dairy is one of the best iodine options available. An eight-ounce serving of nonfat cow’s milk contains 85 mcg of iodine, more than half of what you need daily. 
  5. Greek Yogurt
    Like milk, nonfat Greek yogurt is an excellent source of iodine. Because Greek yogurt is denser than milk, it has a higher concentration of iodine: up to 116 mcg per eight ounces.
  6. Oysters
    Another great source of seafood iodine comes from oysters. Just three ounces of cooked oysters can provide up to 93 mcg of iodine, nearly two-thirds of what you need per day. 
  7. Eggs
    Animal sources of iodine are generally the richest sources available, and eggs are no exception. A single hard-boiled egg provides about 26 mcg of iodine.
  8. Enriched Bread
    While bread on its own is rarely high in iodine, some manufacturers make it with “iodate dough conditioner.” These conditioners are added to enrich the bread, as with table salt. A single slice of white bread made with an iodate dough conditioner contains up to 185 mcg of iodine.
  9. Liver
    There are few foods that are as nutritionally dense as beef liver. A three-ounce serving of liver can provide 14 mcg of iodine along with the many other vitamins and nutrients it contains. 

Why You Need Iodine

Your body can’t produce iodine, which makes it an essential micronutrient. Iodine is critical for your thyroid and plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormone.

Since your body can’t produce iodine, it’s important to get enough from your diet. The currently accepted minimum daily intake requirement for iodine is 150 micrograms (mcg). Pregnant and lactating women should consume 220 and 290 mcg respectively.

If you aren’t getting enough iodine, you may start to develop symptoms of hypothyroidism or begin to develop a goiter (abnormal enlargement of your thyroid gland). 

Getting enough iodine has been shown to help your body in a number of ways, including:

Prevents Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when your body cannot produce enough thyroid hormone. This hormone helps your body maintain your metabolism and supports your organ function. Iodine is critical for your body’s thyroid hormone production, so getting enough iodine may prevent or cure symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Prevents Goiters 

If your body is unable to produce enough thyroid hormone, then your thyroid itself may start to grow. Your thyroid is in your neck, just under your jaw. When it starts to grow, you will notice a strange lump developing on your neck. This is known as a goiter. Getting enough iodine can prevent goiters. 

Reduced Risk of Birth Defects 

People who are pregnant should consume more iodine than others. Iodine helps prevent several types of birth defects. In particular, iodine helps support healthy brain development. Getting enough iodine during pregnancy can prevent birth defects that affect the brain, miscarriage, and stillbirth. 


Chemistry: Properties of Ionic Compounds

Properties of Ionic Compounds

Because all ionic compounds are formed when anions and cations are attracted to one another, ionic compounds frequently have similar characteristics.

Ionic Compounds Form Crystals

Ionic compounds consist of cations and anions that stick next to each other because of their opposite charges. Imagine a single lithium cation stuck next to a single chlorine anion to form lithium chloride. Now, it’s unlikely that only one lithium ion and one chloride ion will be present in this location—generally, when we speak of chemical reactions, we’re talking about a huge number of atoms undergoing a reaction in a very small place (one teaspoon of salt contains approximately 1022 atoms). As a result, if our single LiCl pair were to come close to another LiCl pair, the following would take place:

Because oppositely charged ions attract one another, the LiCl pairs will tend to form larger groups. These larger groups, in turn, will form even larger groups of ions, as shown in the following figure:

The positive charge on the lithium cation of one pair will be attracted to the negative charge on the chloride ion of the other pair.


Figure 8.3The positive charge on the lithium cation of one pair will be attracted to the negative charge on the chloride ion of the other pair.

This process, where stacks of LiCl ions combine with one another, will continue until there are no more lithium or chloride ions.


Figure 8.4This process, where stacks of LiCl ions combine with one another, will continue until there are no more lithium or chloride ions.

Molecular Meanings

Crystals are large arrangements of ions or atoms that are stacked in regular patterns. Many ionic compounds form very large crystals.

These large arrangements of ions are referred to as crystals. Though crystals are frequently formed from ionic compounds, they also exist in some other chemical compounds, such as diamonds. We’ll talk about this in much greater detail in Solids.


Hydrates are formed when one or more molecules of water attach themselves to ionic compounds. These compounds are interesting because they appear dry but give off water when heated. Particularly interesting is Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgSO4·7H2O). When heated, enough water is given off that it actually dissolves the magnesium sulfate!

Ionic Compounds Often Have High Melting and Boiling Points

What happens when you heat something up in your kitchen? You may have discovered while cooking (or while microwaving random things while bored) that most of the foods we eat either melt or burn when heated. Some foods even do both! As you can probably guess, I’m an expert when it comes to putting out house fires.

Ionic compounds, on the other hand, frequently melt and boil at much higher temperatures than other materials. In order for ionic compounds to melt, enough energy must be added to make the cations and anions move away from one another. Because these attractions are so strong, it takes a lot of energy to pull these ions apart. Adding this much energy to ionic compounds requires a great deal of heat, which is why ionic compounds have very high melting and boiling points.

Ionic Compounds Are Hard and Brittle

Imagine bashing a big chunk of lithium chloride against your head. What do you suppose that might feel like? If you guessed that it would hurt like crazy, you were right. Like many ionic compounds, lithium chloride is as hard as a rock.

Ionic compounds are extremely hard because it is difficult to make the ions move apart from each other in a crystal. Even if you apply a great deal of force on the crystal (imagine running headlong into a giant wall of lithium chloride), the attraction between the cations and anions will frequently continue to hold the crystal together.

Let’s say, though, that you really want to break apart an ionic compound. While very hard, ionic compounds are also frequently very brittle, meaning that they break apart when the right kind of force is applied. As the following figure shows, where you apply the force is just as important as how much force you use.

By applying force in a way that pries the cations and anions apart from each other: you can cause a crystal to completely break apart.


Figure 8.5By applying force in a way that pries the cations and anions apart from each other: you can cause a crystal to completely break apart.

As you can see from this diagram, ionic crystals align themselves such that there are regions where a small force can break apart the crystal. These regions are sometimes referred to as “cleavage planes” because they are the locations where the crystal is weakest and can most easily be broken.

Ionic Compounds Conduct Electricity When Dissolved in Water or Melted

Once upon a time, there was an inventor who came up with a device for drying hair. This “hairdryer” as he called it, heated air with electricity and blew it across the hair of the person holding it. Because water evaporates when heated, the hair dried more quickly. This inventor’s legacy lives on to this day in a household appliance loved by millions.

Molecular Meanings

Electrolytes are compounds that conduct electricity when dissolved in water. Many ionic compounds are considered to be electrolytes. However, some ionic compounds don’t dissolve in water. As a result, they don’t share this property.

Shortly afterward, there was a guy who decided that he didn’t want to wait to get out of the bathtub before drying his hair. His legacy: A hairdryer warning sticker with a picture of a guy getting electrocuted.

When ionic compounds are placed in water, they cause the water to conduct electricity. Normally, water doesn’t conduct electricity well at all. However, when salts dissolve in water, they break up into their constituent cations and anions and it is the presence of these ions that allows it to conduct electricity. Because salts conduct electricity when dissolved in water, they are referred to as electrolytes.

In the same way, pure salts also conduct electricity when they are melted. As a solid, the anions and cations in an ionic compound are locked in place and unable to move electrical charge. However, when the ionic compound is melted, these ions are free to move around and conduct charge.

Uses of Ionic compounds

An ionic compound is a chemical compound comprising of ions that are held together by electrostatic forces which are in other words known as ionic bonding. Ionic compounds are neutral but they also comprise of positively charged ions known as cations. The same chemical compound consists of negatively charged ions known as anions. A good example of ionic compounds includes sodium chloride and ammonium carbonate.

These compounds have for a long time been used in different industries. Below are some of the most common uses of ionic compounds.

1. Food seasoning-many minerals are ionic. As a matter of fact, humans have been using Sodium Chloride commonly known as common salt for over 8000 years now. It is actually used in food seasoning. It’s a part of us that we encounter every single day.

2. Preservative. Common salt is also known as Sodium Chloride is also used as a preservative. It has actually been used as a preservative for years. Sodium Chloride has been used to preserve foods in two common ways. The first and most common way is that it draws water out of food and eventually dehydrates it. The main functionality here is that all living things need water to grow. For this lesson, if the water is drawn from the food, bacteria and other microorganisms cannot survive. This reduces the chances of food poisoning. The other way is that it kills microbes. As a matter of fact, salt is very toxic to most microbes and hence it can kill them and preserve food.

3. De-icing roads. There are many new ways of de-icing roads but the most common and the oldest method is the use of salt. This activity has been carried out using Sodium Chloride. The main reason why most countries still use sodium chloride is that it’s inexpensive and is also readily available. It’s also a very natural method of doing this.

4. Wood preservatives. The treatment of wood has been practiced as long as the use of the woods themselves. Treated wood was initially used for agricultural and industrial purposes. Although there are many other methods of preserving wood, the most common method is the use of ionic compounds including sodium chloride. The other commonly used wood preservative includes Boric acid and oxides. They are all supplied under very many world brand names which is the reason why you can find different names for the same.

5. Plant stimulants. Although there’s a little study on the same, salt has been regarded as a very effective plant growth stimulant. However, the majority of experts claim that this is not a very effective use because it can greatly affect the plant and at the end of it initiate something called salt stress in plants.

6. Growth regulators. Some ionic compounds can excite the natural hormones and at the same time allow the synchronization of plant development to occur. Some of the most common plant regulators include the Gibberellic acid. This and many others stimulate the effect of long day lengths in short-day plants which eventually improves vegetative development.

7. Some ionic compounds can be easily dissolved to provide electrolyte solutions. This is actually the case with salt and several other ionic compounds. The method of dissolving these ionic compounds is a simple way of controlling their concentration and ionic strength. This is the same functionality that affects the osmotic pressure and also affects the boiling point.

8. Water fluoridation. In some cases, some chemical identity of the ions added supply fluoride ions. This is another very common use of ionic compounds. It may not be very common use of ionic compounds but it’s a common practice in water fluoridation.

9. Paint pigmentation. Solid ionic compounds have been used as paint pigmentation for their resistance to organic solvents. Though, they are very sensitive to acidity. For many years, some ionic compounds have been used as sources of pigment color on fireworks.

10. Fireworks. In many cases, ionic compounds including Barium Chloride can be used to make fireworks simply because it releases green colored explosions. This is a very common use of ionic compounds because you will not miss one of these on compounds on such functionalities.

Ionic compounds have many other uses. As a matter of fact, you have interacted with many of these compounds in day to day life. Children who have lost ions in their bodies are in some cases given electrolytes. Lithium iodine is also used in batteries because it’s a very good conductor of electricity. Lastly, combat chloride test papers are used to detect moisture.

What is Ionic Compound?

Ionic compounds can be defined as:

The crystalline solids are formed by neatly packed ions of opposite charge. Ionic compounds are usually formed when metals react with non-metals.

In other words, ionic compounds are held together by ionic bonds are classed as ionic compounds. Elements can gain or lose electrons in order to attain their nearest noble gas configuration. The formation of ions (either by gaining or losing electrons) for the completion of octet helps them gain stability.

In a reaction between metals and non-metals, metals generally loose electrons to complete their octet while non-metals gain electrons to complete their octet. Metals and non-metals generally react to form ionic compounds.

Ionic Compound Structure

The structure of an ionic compound depends on the relative sizes of the cations and anions. Ionic compounds include salts, oxides, hydroxides, sulphides, and the majority of inorganic compounds. Ionic solids are held together by the electrostatic attraction between the positive and negative ions.

For example, the sodium ions attract chloride ions and the chloride ion attracts sodium ions. The result is a three-dimensional structure of alternate Na+ and Cl ions. This is a crystal of sodium chloride. The crystal is uncharged because the number of sodium ions is equal to the number of chloride ions. The forces of attraction between the ions hold them in the structures.

Sodium Chloride Structure

These ionic bonds between the charged particles result in a giant structure of ions. Because the ions are held together tightly in these giant structures it takes a lot of energy to break all the bonds. As a result, ionic compounds have high melting points and boiling points.

Ionic Compound Examples

For example, the reaction between magnesium and chlorine. The magnesium atom has two electrons in its outermost shell. By losing two electrons from its M shell its L shell becomes the outermost shell that has a stable octet. The nucleus of this magnesium atom still has twelve protons but the number of electrons has decreased to ten. So, a net positive charge is developed on this magnesium atom, giving a magnesium cation Mg2+.

On the other hand, the chlorine atom has seven electrons in its outermost shell. Therefore, it needs only one electron to complete its octet. It can gain this one electron from the electrons lost by the magnesium atom to become magnesium ion. As two electrons are lost by a magnesium atom while one chlorine atom can gain only one electron, two atoms of chlorine combine with one atom of magnesium to form magnesium chloride.

Ionic Compounds

From the above example, ionic compounds can be defined as the compounds formed by the transfer of electrons between metals and non-metals. The bond formed between them is known as the ionic bond. Due to the presence of oppositely charged ions, ionic compounds are held strongly by the electrostatic force of attraction. Prominent properties of ionic compounds are:

Ionic Compound Properties

1. Physical properties of ionic compounds

Due to the presence of the strong force of attraction between the positive and negative ions, ionic compounds are solids and are hard to break. They generally break into pieces when pressure is applied, hence they are considered brittle.

2. Melting and boiling points of ionic compounds

Due to the presence of electrostatic forces of attraction between ions, a large amount of energy is required to break the ionic bonds between the atoms. Thus, ionic compounds have high melting and boiling points.

3. The solubility of ionic compounds

Ionic compounds are generally soluble in polar solvents such as water whereas solubility tends to decrease in non-polar solvents such as petrol, gasoline, etc.

4. Conduction of Electricity

Ionic compounds do not conduct electricity in the solid-state but are good conductors in a molten state. Conduction of electricity involves the flow of charge from one point to another. In the solid-state, as the movement of ions is not possible, ionic compounds don’t conduct electricity. Whereas in the molten state, ionic compounds conduct electricity as electrostatic forces of attraction between the ions are overcome by the heat released.

Ionic Character Formula

One way of estimating the ionic character of a bond—that is, the magnitude of the charge separation in a polar covalent bond—is to calculate the difference in electronegativity between the two atoms.

Δχ = χB − χA.

Bond polarity and ionic character increase with an increasing difference in electronegativity.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Which is an ionic compound?

Ionic compounds are ion compounds. These ions are atoms that gain or lose electrons, resulting in a net positive or negative charge. Metals tend to lose electrons, so they have a net positive charge and become cations. Non-metals tend to gain electrons, creating a net negative charge of anions.

What are the common ionic compounds?

Ionic compounds have high points of melting and boiling and appear to be strong and brittle. Ions may be single atoms, such as sodium and chlorine in common table salt (sodium chloride) or more complex groups such as calcium carbonate.

What is the ionic bond example?

The ionic bond concept is when a positively charged ion forms a bond with a negatively charged ion and one atom passes electrons to another. An example of an ionic bond is Sodium Chloride, a chemical compound.

Is MgO an ionic compound?

To have an octet, Mg loses two electrons. To have an octet, oxygen gains two electrons. The ionic bond between ions is the result of opposite charges being applied electrostatically. The final magnesium oxide formula is MgO.

What are the 2 parts of an ionic compound?

Ionic compounds are compounds made up of ions that form charged particles when an atom (or group of atoms) gains or loses electrons. A cation is an ion charged positively; an anion is an ion charged negatively.

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