An introduction to salt
In Malayalam language which is popular in Kerala state, India, salt is known as uppu. In simple terms we can say that salt means a mineral which is composed of sodium chloride. Do you know the meaning of the word mineral? Minerals are naturally occurring substances which has a crystalline form & a homogeneous chemical composition. Salt is known as namak in Hindi language. The Sanskrit word for salt is lavana. We all know the important fact that in small quantities salt is good for our health but in excess it is dangerous to our life. It is understood that actually salt is added to the food for preserving it. Salts are usually crystalline solids which are white in color. The leading producer & marketer of salt in North America is Morton salt company. This company was founded by Joy Morton. It should be noted that iodized salts are free flowing salts. There are different forms of salt in the world. Do you know which are they? If not, check the points given below.
Different forms of salt
The different forms of salt present in the world are
In Malayalam language, rock salt is known as kallu uppu & black salt is known as karutha uppu respectively. Sea salt is an example of unrefined salt. As the name indicates iodized salt contains iodine in it. It should be noted that among the above mentioned varieties, rock salt is known as halite which is usually white in color but due to the presence of impurities it may change the color.
Top countries producing salt in the world
The countries listed below are the top producers of salt in the world.
Places of salt production in India
The following places in India are famous for salt production.
Importance of iodized salt
Iodized salts are actually table salts which contain minute amounts of iodine in it. This salt helps to prevent the deficiency of iodine in human beings. We all know the fact that the deficiency of iodine in human beings leads to several diseases including goiter & cretinism respectively. The swelling of thyroid gland is known as goiter. But you must remember the fact that thyroid gland is the largest endocrine gland of human body. Another fact to remember is that cretinism is a condition which is more commonly seen in children. Do you know what actually cretinism is? The nutritional deficiency of iodine results in congenital hypothyroidism which in turn results in stunted physical & mental growth. This condition is known as cretinism. What do you mean by congenital hypothyroidism? Congenital hypothyroidism is related to the deficiency of thyroid hormones at the time of birth itself. In USA, iodized salts are more commonly seen.
Sources of iodide salts
Compounds namely potassium iodide, potassium iodate, sodium iodide, sodium iodate etc are used as sources of iodine in salts. The molecular formula for potassium iodate is KIO3. This is actually an oxidizing agent which means substances which are capable of gaining electrons in a chemical reaction & thereby getting reduced itself. Also note that potassium iodate is a white crystalline powder. Potassium iodide is represented by the molecular formula KI. But sodium iodates are white ortho rhombic crystals which are represented by the formula NaIO3. Also note that sodium iodide is a white crystalline salt which is represented by the formula NaI.
Sea salt is an example of unrefined salt. It should be noted that sea salts which are completely raw are bitter to taste. As the name indicates this is produced by the evaporation of sea water. They are mainly used for making bath products. The major ions present in sea water are chloride ions Cl-, sodium ions Na+, sulfate ions SO42-, magnesium ion Mg2+ & calcium ion Ca2+ respectively.
It should be noted that in Hindi language, black salt is known as kala namak. In the powder form, black salt is actually pink in color. This is actually a pungent smelling & salty condiment. This is a natural occurring halite & remember that the smell of black salt is mainly due to the presence of sulfur in it. Also note that black salt is mainly used in India & Pakistan as a condiment(flavoring agent). It should be noted that black salt consists mainly of sodium chloride (which is responsible for the salty taste) & traces of iron sulfide, hydrogen sulfide, sodium sulfate etc.
Disadvantages of salt
I have already mentioned that salt has some major disadvantages which is mainly caused due to its over consumption. Several diseases like high blood pressure, ulcer, cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke etc. are caused by the excessive consumption of salt. That means while cooking food you have to use only the required quantity of salt in it.