July 8, 2012
Sea salt is the remaining minerals from evaporating sea water.
Salt obtained in this process contains trace minerals that give a different taste than normal table salt. These are typically calcium or magnesium containing compounds. Certain sea salts contain sulfates as well.
Moreover, table salt contains iodine (as potassium iodide, sodium iodide, sodium iodate, or potassium iodate) which is a micronutrient necessary for human health. Some say that the presence of iodine further differentiates the taste of table salt from sea salt.
Sea salt can take a number of different appearances. In general, sea salt is coarser than table salt. Depending on the source and the impurities present, sea salt comes in a variety of colors. For example, black and red salts from Hawai’i include powdered black lava or baked red clay.
The predominant flavor for all salts comes from sodium chloride. Too much sodium chloride is responsible for a number of diseases in humans. Besides the obvious benefit of the inclusion of iodine, there is a negligible health difference between different salts.
Dissolved salt raises the boiling point and lowers the freezing point of water.
Salt is necessary for human health.
The FDA does not require salt sold as “sea salt” to actually come from the sea.
There is an ASTM standard for the preparation of artificial seawater (ASTM D1141-98).
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