Table Salt vs Sea Salt
Salt is essential in our food. Apart from adding a flavor, it is a nutrient needed for the body. Various additives can be mixed with salt to enhance its nutritional value. Salt is largely produced from sea water. Further, salt is also obtained from mining rock salt, which is also called halite. The salt in rock salt is somewhat purer than salt obtained from brine. Rock salt is a NaCl deposit resulted from evaporating ancient oceans millions of years ago. Large deposits like this are found in Canada, America, and China, etc. The extracted salt in various ways is purified to make it suitable for consumption, and this is known as table salt.
Salt or sodium chloride, which we use in food, can be easily produced from sea water (brine). This is done in large scale, because people from every corner of the world use salt for their food every day. Sea water contains high concentrations of sodium chloride, therefore, accumulating it on an area and by letting the water evaporate using solar energy yield sodium chloride crystals. The water evaporation is done in several tanks and, in the first tank, sand or clay in the sea water is deposited. The salty water from this tank is sent to another one in where; calcium sulfate is deposited as the water evaporates. In the final tank, salt is deposited and, along with it, other impurities like magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate are also settling. These salts are then collected into small mountains and allow staying there for a certain period. During this period, other impurities may dissolve, and somewhat pure salt can be obtained. The unrefined salt obtained like this is known as sea salt. Other than using in food, sea salt has many other usages. For example, it is used in chemical industries for various purposes and as a source of Chloride. Further, it is used in cosmetics as an exfoliator.
Refined salt is known as table salt. This is obtained from the land salt deposits. The refinery processes remove all the other minerals associates with salt except sodium chloride. Therefore, table salt mainly contains (97% to 99%) sodium chloride, but there are many other additives. Table salt is mainly produced for consumption. Therefore, the additives are added to increase its nutrition level, make it healthier. The amount of additives may vary from country to country. Iodine or iodide is one such additive. Inorganic iodine sources like potassium iodate, potassium iodide, sodium iodate, or sodium iodide is added to refined salt. Iodine is a trace element which is needed in our body, especially for the functioning of the thyroid gland. Fluoride, iron can also be added in order to overcome the diseases caused by these ion deficiencies. Anti-caking compounds like sodium ferrocyanide are also added to table salt to prevent salt absorbing moisture from the air.
What is the difference between Sea Salt and Table Salt?
• Sea salt is obtained from the evaporation of sea water, whereas table salt is obtained from the underground salt deposits.
• Table salt is much more processed compared to sea salt.
• Various additives are added to table salt in contrast to sea salt. Sea salt may contain some of the minerals which are naturally present in sea water.
• Sea salt has a better taste than table salt.