Sea salt is kosher salt that is formed by the natural evaporation of seawater. It's most commonly used as a flavor in cooking, baking, cosmetics, and even for preserving food. It's also known as black salt, white salt, or sea salt. Like other mined minerals, production of sea salt dates back to prehistoric times. Today, it's one of the most important natural elements used as an integral part of a wide variety of cuisines.
Sea salt was used as early as the first century BC on Greek ships. In addition to being used for its mineral content, sea salt was also used for improving the condition of the crew and to provide a morale-boosting impact. As trade and communications improved, sea salt became more widely available and affordable. In modern times, the development of sea salt and associated processes have largely contributed to the economic development of many areas. Economically disadvantaged countries have often used sea salt to supplement food supplies. Moreover, sea salt is widely considered an efficient and economical form of recycling.
Salt is a porous substance, so it's possible to extract additional valuable minerals from sea salt through a process called "saltification." The process extracts magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium from kosher salt. These are essential nutrients, which, in conjunction with baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate) create new, more concentrated forms of these minerals. Other minerals may also be extracted from sea salt during the process. These additional elements can be used for various purposes including treating water, cleaning aquariums, and dissolving unwanted substances in the water.
There is an extensive range of sea salt products on the market. Most sea salt is harvested from coastal areas, so it's mostly consumed in salty form. But it is also possible to obtain a powder-based sea salt from inland areas, which can then be added to foods or dissolved in water for consumption.
Today, sea salt is primarily used in the production of table salt. However, sea salt can also be used to enhance the flavor of other sea-related products, such as earthenware and other mineral-enriched liquids. It can even be added to the paint mixture as it has the ability to make a drying medium. In fact, the sea's sea salt-coated wooden furniture is still favored by some homeowners.
Although sea salt was once considered something of a novelty item, its usage has expanded since ancient times. For instance, sea salt can today be found in candy bars, ice cream mixes, and even energy drinks. Its most widespread use however is in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. In particular, iodine compounds derived from sea salt have been found to be extremely helpful in the treatment of thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism. Its effectiveness, in this case, comes from the iodine's ability to convert excess hormones in the human body into more useful forms.
But perhaps the most important place where sea salt can be used today in the food industry. It can even be found being used as ingredients in regular white bread, and even chips. These products are not produced using sea salt, they are made using sodium mechanically infused with the mineral. While it still cannot surpass the benefits of naturally occurring refined salt, it is undoubtedly a close second inconvenience. Moreover, consumers today are increasingly sensitive to the effects of artificial additives.
It's interesting to note that in ancient times, sea salt was only used in large quantities during special religious observances and other ceremonies. This is because it took a lot of effort and resources to harvest it and was usually only consumed by wealthy people. As a result, sea salt at that time was not considered a practical commodity. But modern advances in modern medicine and in the refinement of processes that can take place in far-away places have brought about sea salt's wide usage in modern times.