Salt is a mineral compound that is composed of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. The salt that we eat is normally called table salt that actually belongs to a family of salts which are ionic compounds.
Salt in its natural state is a crystalline mineral known as rock salt. It is present in vast quantities in seawater of which it is the main mineral constituent. Salt is one of the oldest and most omnipresent food seasonings and it is very important for food preservation. It has been known to be present since the existence of water and rock that create the mineral.
Salt has a history of billions of years which grows richer as time progresses.
Salt processing has been thought to date back to 8000 years ago, when people living in the area what is now called Romania, would boil spring water for salt. In fact, salt was the subject of several folklore, fairy tales, and fables. There have been accounts where salt was served as money and has been the cause of bitter warfare. Salt was in general use long before recorded history that dates back to 2700 BC, which locates back to China.
Salt is actually a multipurpose mineral. Not only do we see its usage in food but it has also known to be an effective cleaner for greasy pans, stained cups, refrigerators, ovens, silverware coffee pots, etc. it is also used for house cleaning: brass, wicker, sponges, removing rusts and mildews, wine stains, etc. it can also be used for health and beauty purposes such as gargling, teeth cleaning, mouth washing, reducing puffiness on the eyes.
There are generally three ways of mining for salt, they are called: deep-shaft mining, solution mining, or solar evaporation.
Deep shaft mining: This is a lot like mining any other mineral. Salt is normally found in ancient underground sea beds which were buried due to tectonic changes, thousands of years ago. Shafts are led down to the floors of the mines and through drilling, cutting, and blasting, salt is loosened up and carried to the surface.
Solution mining: Wells are developed over salt beds and water is pumped in to dissolve the salt. The solution is, then, pumped out and taken to a plant for evaporation.
Solar Evaporation: Salty sea water is channeled into specially built shallow pools and left alone. The wind and the sun evaporate the water leaving behind the salt. When this salt reaches certain thickness, about once a year, it is harvested.
Amita Vadlamudi spent some time reading about the mineral salt today and has decided to write an article on the subject. Although salt is a mundane sounding subject, Amita Vadlamudi found the information to be interesting and worth writing about.