Salt undoubtedly is one of the world’s most significant food ingredients. Without it, most foods would appear to be tasteless and unattractive. Not all salts are equal in their attributes. Each salt is unique in its taste, features, and properties.
There are five major types of i.e. edible salt, regular table salt, pink Himalayan salt, kosher salt, and sea salt.
They do not just differ in mineral and sodium content but also quite different in the way they taste and look and the way they are being used and stored.
This article will compare the different properties of salts and explore the properties they have. But before we discuss the different types of salt, let’s discuss something about the “salt” first.
What is salt?
Salt is a crystalline mineral mainly comprises of two major elements i.e. Sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl). The chemical name of salt is sodium chloride. Nature has given it tremendous properties that are beneficial for the human body. The minerals present in salt help in nerve transmission and proper muscle and bone functioning.
Salt has many features and adding flavor to our food is the most common one. It is also used as a food preservative because it is difficult for bacteria to grow and breed in a salt-rich environment.
The major source to obtain salt is either the salt mines or by evaporation of seawater. Salt is harvested in many countries having salt mines and among those countries, Canada has the largest deposits of salt.
As mentioned above, salt has four main types which are
Sea salt is the type of salt that is formed by the evaporation of seawater. Like any other salt, sea salt also contains sodium and chloride at large. However, it has various other minerals depending on the way it is processed and the source it comes from. The other name for the sea salt is “bay salt”.
Sea salt’s color defines the number of minerals and impurities present in it. for example, the darker the sea salt the greater will be the impurities and minerals in it. Also due to ocean pollution, it can also have a trace amount of heavy metals and microplastics which are the remains of plastic waste and may cause alerts for health if consumed unprocessed.
Pink Himalayan salt is a pink-colored salt mined from the khewra salt range which is the second largest and one of oldest salt mines in the world.it is situated in the south of the Himalaya in Pakistan.
The salt coming out of khewra mines believed to be formed millions of years ago by the evaporation of water. The pink Himalayan salt is extracted by hand .it is negligibly processed and is free from any additives and thought to be much more natural and neutral than regular table salt.
Just like regular table salt, Himalayan pink salt contains sodium chloride (NaCl). However, Himalayan pink salt also contains other minerals and trace elements that define its pink color. The major mineral it contains is the iron oxide which gives it a pink color. It also has a small amount of iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium including traces of 80 more minerals.
Kosher salt is an edible salt and has the same composition as other types of salts .its structure or texture is coarse and it is usually in the form of flakes.it tastes the same as that of the common table salt.
Refined salt is also famously known as regular table salt. This is the most refined form of the edible salt– which means that it is heavily pulverized and most of the impurities and trace minerals are removed. However, the main disadvantage of the salt is that it forms clumps and to avoid this, various substances like anti-caking agents are added into it so that it can be used easily.
Sodium chloride is the major content of table salt. However, some brands bring it to their customers with added iodine, which is said to be a preventive measure against iodine deficiency.