Sea salt: Facts and Myths

It is believed that sea and plain, common table salt - is a different matter. Where the first is much more useful and more natural second. Salt and truth are from two different sources: underground mines and seawater. But this fact alone does not make them fundamentally different.

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

The underground salt deposits left us a legacy from ancient seas dried up, disappeared at a particular stage in the history of our planet - from several million to hundreds of millions of years ago. Then, due to geological processes, some salt deposits were closer to the ground, and now they exist in the form of original domes. Other salt deposits are located hundreds of meters deep, and therefore more difficult to obtain.

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

rock salt ground large machines in the cavities cut into the thickness of the salt arrays. However, rock salt is not suitable for human consumption, as kept the mud and a variety of organic residues by drying the ancient sea.

Therefore, table salt is produced differently: the water is pumped into the mine shaft to dissolve the salt, the salt water is pumped out (brine) onto the surface, settled all the impurities and, finally, evaporated via vacuum now pure saline. The result is the familiar tiny crystals of table salt.

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

In the coastal areas dominated by sunny weather, the salt can be obtained to allow the sun and wind evaporate the water from shallow ponds or "islands" of sea water. There are many kinds of sea salt extracted from the water expanses of the planet and purified to some extent.

Known, for example, gray and pink-gray species of sea salt from Korea and France, as well as black sea salt from India, the color of which is determined by local varieties of clays and algae that are present in evaporation ponds, rather than salt (sodium chloride) which they contain. Black and red types of sea salt from Hawaii owe their color random blotches of fine black lava and red baked clay. These rare and exotic types of salt are sold in specialized stores and willingly used by adventurous chefs. Naturally, they undeniably unique flavor similar to a mixture of salt with different types of clay and algae. Each type of salt has its supporters.

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

MINERALS

If evaporate all water from the ocean (removing therefrom fish), it remains tacky, gray and bitter mass of sludge, consisting of 78% of sodium chloride - common salt. The remaining 22% to 99% are composed of magnesium and calcium compounds, which are responsible for bitterness. In addition, in very small amounts are present there are at least 75 chemical elements. It is this last fact is the basis for the widespread allegations of "mass nutritional minerals" in sea salt.

However, chemical analysis subtract our enthusiasm: minerals, even in this raw and untreated sludge, are present in minor amounts. For example, you would have to eat two tablespoons of this mass to get the amount of iron that you get from a single grape.

Sea salt that falls in shops, comprises only a tenth of the mineral in comparison with unpurified sludge. Here's why: in the process of production of food of sea salt to the sun is allowed to evaporate water from the ponds, but in any case not all - and this is an important clarification. In the evaporation residue water it becomes more and more concentrated sodium chloride solution. When the salt concentration in the pond is greater than the content in seawater is about nine times, the salt begins to transform into crystals. crystals were then scraped or raked to subsequent washing, drying and packaging. (As you can rinse the salt does not dissolve it? It is washed with a solution, which already contains so much salt that it can not dissolve it. Scientists call it saturated solution.)

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

It is important that this "natural" crystallization itself is extremely effective purification process. Evaporation and subsequent crystallization of the sun heating make sodium chloride in 10 times cleaner - that is freer of other minerals - than it was in the ocean.

Whichever aqueous you take, if it is dominated by a single chemical substance (in our case - sodium chloride) along with a plurality of other minerals, albeit in much smaller quantities (in our case - other mineral salts), evaporative salt predominant crystal form acquire substance and all other ingredients stay in solution. This is the cleaning process, which is always used in chemistry. For example, Marie Curie used it for separating pure radium from radium ore.

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

The salt obtained through the solar evaporation of sea water, contains 99% of pure sodium chloride, wherein further processing is required. The remaining 1% is composed almost entirely of magnesium and calcium compounds, and all of the other 75 "of minerals" substantially absent. To obtain the amount of iron contained in a grape, now I have to eat about 100 g of the salt.

In this context, the notion that sea salt contains iodine from the outset, is a myth. Due to the fact that certain types of sea vegetation rich in iodine, some people find the ocean a kind of "iodized broth." As for the chemical elements present in seawater, it contains 100 times more boron than iodine, but we have never heard of sea salt of advertising as a source of boron.

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

Additives

About sea salt is often written that there is no "additives with an unpleasant taste," as in table salt. However, whatever its origin, in any case salt contains additives anti-caking (e.g., calcium silicate), so that it easily granules were poured; salt crystals, in fact, small cubes, and they tend to stick to each other. Due to the fact that the calcium silicate (like all the other anti-caking additives) is not soluble in water, table salt, when dissolved in water give off-white solution. Among other anti-caking additives may be mentioned magnesium carbonate (E504), calcium carbonate (E170) and calcium phosphate (E341). All these chemicals have no taste or smell.

But even if they were taste and smell and professional tasters can distinguish subtle flavors in the solid salt caused by the introduction of these additives (in a volume less than 1%), still dilution factor which occurs with the addition salt according to any recipe , would not allow tasters to achieve its goal. It can not be denied that some of the smaller varieties of sea salt (read: more expensive) have interesting taste characteristics. But it depends on how they are used, and from what we understand by taste.

Food Taste consists of three components: a flavor, odor and texture. In the case of salt, we can eliminate odor because neither sodium chloride or magnesium sulphate or calcium which may be present in some varieties less purified sea salts are odorless. Nevertheless, our sense of smell is very sensitive, and perhaps because of it, we smelled these less refined types of salt. In addition, when the salt is inhaled and it gets into the nose as a fine dust, some people are able to feel a slight metallic smell.

What really feel the taste buds and what are the tactile sensation of the salt in your mouth? Depending on how the salt was collected and processed, the crystals of different brands of sea salt can be very different in shape from the flakes to pyramids and fragments of irregular shape (you can see this, if you take a magnifying glass). Crystal size also varies - from very small to large, although they are larger than ordinary table salt.

when they relate to the language and then dissolved or when they get on the teeth and crushed -

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

If a salt sprinkled relatively dry food, such as, for example, a slice of tomato, the larger and more scaly crystals can create small areas of salinity. That is why the chef is so appreciated sea salt: just for these small "flash" a salty taste. Table salt is unable to, because of its compact small crystals dissolve on the tongue much more slowly. Thus, it is a complex form of crystals, rather than their marine origin, determines the taste characteristics of many kinds of sea salt. The reason that the majority of species is sea salt large, irregularly shaped crystals, is the following: it is the result of slow evaporation process, while fast process evaporation under vacuum (i.e. subatmospheric pressure), which was used for the production of table salt, leaves tiny crystals of regular shape - those that can be easily poured from the salt shaker. This phenomenon is well known to chemists: the faster the crystal growth process, the less will be their size.

Sea salt: Facts and Myths

cooking

The size and shape of the crystals have no significance when the salt is used in cooking, because they dissolve and disappear in the liquid. And when they are dissolved, then the difference in the texture is already insignificant. The taste of the food is not affected by any form of crystals were to dissolve. This is another reason why it makes no sense to specify in the recipe some special kind of sea salt, if in the process of preparation of this dish will be present moisture. And in what recipe it not?

Widespread belief that sea salt is saltier than the dining room. However, since both types of salts composed of 99% of pure sodium chloride, it is not true. This view arose from the fact that one of the tests scaly and irregularly shaped crystals of sea salt dissolved in the language immediately, quickly bringing a sense of salinity that set them apart from small and slowly dissolving crystals of table salt. But then again the ocean is not to blame the whole thing in the form of crystals.

The idea that sea salt is saltier, has led to claims that when brining it can be used in smaller amounts. Since sea salt is usually composed of large crystals of complex shape, which is not very tight lie in a teaspoon. In a teaspoon sea salt will have less sodium chloride than the same spoon of table salt to its small crystals. It turns out that when compared with identical teaspoons different sea salt content is less salty than table salt. In comparison, by weight, they are identical - for each gram of sodium chloride a salty, like any other grams of the same substance. You can not reduce salt intake, eating the same amount of salt, but just in a different form.

Sea salt: Facts and Myths