Often tsv (tab-separated values) is the safest format for manipulating data, at least when convenience is a priority. Bash can work with these with ease, simply by modifying the IFS variable.
To process a two-column tsv:

IFS_OLD=$IFS
IFS='{tab}'
while read first second; do
  echo first=$first, second=$second
done <two_col.tsv
IFS=$IFS_OLD

where {tab} is entered by <ctrl>+<v>,<tab>