Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in its natural form

Author : POLANDYU
Publish Date : 2021-03-12 22:05:10


Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in its natural form

Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater, where it is the main mineral constituent. The open ocean has about 35 grams (1.2 oz) of solids per liter of sea water, a salinity of 3.5%. Salt is essential for life in general, and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, and salting is an important method of food preservation. Some of the earliest evidence of salt processing dates to around 6,000 BC, when people living in the area of present-day Romania boiled spring water to extract salts; a salt-works in China dates to approximately the same period. Salt was also prized by the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites, Egyptians, and the Indians. Salt became an important article of trade and was transported by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, along specially built salt roads, and across the Sahara on camel caravans. The scarcity and universal need for salt have led nations to go to war over it and use it to raise tax revenues. Salt is used in religious ceremonies and has other cultural and traditional significance. Salt is processed from salt mines, and by the evaporation of seawater (sea salt) and mineral-rich spring water in shallow pools. Its major industrial products are caustic soda and chlorine; salt is used in many industrial processes including the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride, plastics, paper pulp and many other products. Of the annual global production of around two hundred million tonnes of salt, about 6% is used for human consumption. Other uses include water conditioning processes, de-icing highways, and agricultural use. Edible salt is sold in forms such as sea salt and table salt which usually contains an anti-caking agent and may be iodised to prevent iodine deficiency. As well as its use in cooking and at the table, salt is present in many processed foods. Sodium is an essential nutrient for human health via its role as an electrolyte and osmotic solute.[1][2][3] Excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, in children and adults. Such health effects of salt have long been studied. Accordingly, numerous world health associations and experts in developed countries recommend reducing consumption of popular salty foods.[3][4] The World Health Organization recommends that adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, equivalent to 5 grams of salt per day.[5] Contents 1    History 2    Chemistry 3    Edible salt 3.1    Fortified table salt 3.2    Other kinds 3.3    Salt in food 3.4    Sodium consumption and health 4    Non-dietary uses 5    Production 6    In religion 7    References History Main article: History of salt Salt production in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt (1670) All through history, the availability of salt has been pivotal to civilization. What is now thought to have been the first city in Europe is Solnitsata, in Bulgaria, which was a salt mine, providing the area now known as the Balkans with salt since 5400 BC.[6] Even the name Solnitsata means "salt works". While people have used canning and artificial refrigeration to preserve food for the last hundred years or so, salt has been the best-known food preservative, especially for meat, for many thousands of years.[7] A very ancient salt-works operation has been discovered at the Poiana Slatinei archaeological site next to a salt spring in Lunca, Neamț County, Romania. Evidence indicates that Neolithic people of the Precucuteni Culture were boiling the salt-laden spring water through the process of briquetage to extract the salt as far back as 6050 BC.[8] The salt extracted from this operation may have had a direct correlation to the rapid growth of this society's population soon after its initial production began.[9] The harvest of salt from the surface of Xiechi Lake near Yuncheng in Shanxi, China, dates back to at least 6000 BC, making it one of the oldest verifiable saltworks.[10] There is more salt in animal tissues, such as meat, blood, and milk, than in plant tissues.[11] Nomads who subsist on their flocks and herds do not eat salt with their food, but agriculturalists, feeding mainly on cereals and vegetable matter, need to supplement their diet with salt.[12] With the spread of civilization, salt became one of the world's main trading commodities. It was of high value to the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and other peoples of antiquity. In the Middle East, salt was used to ceremonially seal an agreement, and the ancient Hebrews made a "covenant of salt" with God and sprinkled salt on their offerings to show their trust in him.[13][better source needed] An ancient practice in time of war was salting the earth: scattering salt around in a defeated city to prevent plant growth. The Bible tells the story of King Abimelech who was ordered by God to do this at Shechem,[14] and various texts claim that the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus ploughed over and sowed the city of Carthage with salt after it was defeated in the Third Punic War (146 BC).[15] Ponds near Maras, Peru, fed from a mineral spring and used for salt production since the time of the Incas. Salt may have been used for barter in connection with the obsidian trade in Anatolia in the Neolithic Era.[16] Salt was included among funeral offerings found in ancient Egyptian tombs from the third millennium BC, as were salted birds, and salt fish.[17] From about 2800 BC, the Egyptians began exporting salt fish to the Phoenicians in return for Lebanon cedar, glass, and the dye Tyrian purple; the Phoenicians traded Egyptian salted fish and salt from North Africa throughout their Mediterranean trade empire.[18] Herodotus described salt trading routes across Libya back in the 5th century BC. In the early years of the Roman Empire, roads were built for the transportation of salt from the salt imported at Ostia to the capital.[19] In Africa, salt was used as currency south of the Sahara, and slabs of rock salt were used as coins in Abyssinia.[12] Moorish merchants in the 6th century traded salt for gold, weight for weight.[dubious – discuss] The Tuareg have traditionally maintained routes across the Sahara especially for the transportation of salt by Azalai (salt caravans). The caravans still cross the desert from southern Niger to Bilma, although much of the trade now takes place by truck. Each camel takes two bales of fodder and two of trade goods northwards and returns laden with salt pillars and dates.[20] In Gabon, before the arrival of Europeans, the coast people carried on a remunerative trade with those of the interior by the medium of sea salt. This was gradually displaced by the salt that Europeans brought in sacks, so that the coast natives lost their previous profits; as of the author's writing in 1958, sea salt was still the currency best appreciated in the interior.[21] Salzburg, Hallstatt, and Hallein lie within 17 km (11 mi) of each other on the river Salzach in central Austria in an area with extensive salt deposits. Salzach literally means "salt river" and Salzburg "salt castle", both taking their names from the German word Salz meaning salt and Hallstatt was the site of the world's first salt mine.[22] The town gave its name to the Hallstatt culture that began mining for salt in the area in about 800 BC. Around 400 BC, the townsfolk, who had previously used pickaxes and shovels, began open pan salt making. During the first millennium BC, Celtic communities grew rich trading salt and salted meat to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome in exchange for wine and other luxuries.[7] The word salary comes from the Latin word for salt. The reason for this is unknown; a persistent modern claim that the Roman Legions were sometimes paid in salt is baseless.[23][24][25] The word salad literally means "salted", and comes from the ancient Roman practice of salting leaf vegetables.[26] Wars have been fought over salt. Venice fought and won a war with Genoa over the product, and it played an important part in the American Revolution. Cities on overland trade routes grew rich by levying duties,[27] and towns like Liverpool flourished on the export of salt extracted from the salt mines of Cheshire.[28] Various governments have at different times imposed salt taxes on their peoples. The voyages of Christopher Columbus are said to have been financed from salt production in southern Spain, and the oppressive salt tax in France was one of the causes of the French Revolution. After being repealed, this tax was reimposed by Napoleon when he became emperor to pay for his foreign wars, and was not finally abolished until 1946.[27] In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi led a crowd of 100,000 protestors on the "Dandi March" or "Salt Satyagraha", during which they made their own salt from the sea as a demonstration of their opposition to the colonial salt tax. This act of civil disobedience inspired numerous Indians and transformed the Indian independence movement from an elitist one with little popular support into a national struggle.[29] Chemistry SEM image of a grain of table salt Main article: Sodium chloride Salt is mostly sodium chloride, the ionic compound with the formula NaCl, representing equal proportions of sodium and chlorine. Sea salt and freshly mined salt (much of which is sea salt from prehistoric seas) also contain small amounts of trace elements (which in these small amounts are generally good for plant and animal health[citation needed]). Mined salt is often refined in the production of table salt; it is dissolved in water, purified via precipitation of other minerals out of solution, and re-evaporated. During this same refining process it is often also iodized. Salt crystals are translucent and cubic in shape; they normally appear white but impurities may give them a blue or purple tinge. The molar mass of salt is 58.443 g/mol, its melting point is 801 °C (1,474 °F) and its boiling point 1,465 °C (2,669 °F). Its density is 2.17 grams per cubic centimetre and it is readily soluble in water. When dissolved in water it separates into Na+ and Cl− ions, and the solubility is 359 grams per litre.[30] From cold solutions, salt crystallises as the dihydrate NaCl·2H2O. Solutions of sodium chloride have very different properties from those of pure water; the freezing point is −21.12 °C (−6.02 °F) for 23.31 wt% of salt, and the boiling point of saturated salt solution is around 108.7 °C (227.7 °F).[31] Edible salt See also: List of edible salts Comparison of table salt with kitchen salt. Shows a typical salt shaker and salt bowl with salt spread before each on a black background. Salt is essential to the health of humans and other animals, and it is one of the five basic taste sensations.[32] Salt is used in many cuisines around the world, and it is often found in salt shakers on diners' eating tables for their personal use on food. Salt is also an ingredient in many manufactured foodstuffs. Table salt is a refined salt containing about 97 to 99 percent sodium chloride.[33][34][35] Usually, anticaking agents such as sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate are added to make it free-flowing. Iodized salt, containing potassium iodide, is widely available. Some people put a desiccant, such as a few grains of uncooked rice[36] or a saltine cracker, in their salt shakers to absorb extra moisture and help break up salt clumps that may otherwise form.[37] Fortified table salt Some table salt sold for consumption contains additives which address a variety of health concerns, especially in the developing world. The identities and amounts of additives vary widely from country to country. Iodine is an important micronutrient for humans, and a deficiency of the element can cause lowered production of thyroxine (hypothyroidism) and enlargement of the thyroid gland (endemic goitre) in adults or cretinism in children.[38] Iodized



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