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Learn All About Salt


Much more than a flavor enhancer!

What is Salt?

Salt – sodium chloride (NaCl) – is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. Much more than a food enhancer and preserver, salt is used to keep our roads and sidewalks safe, and it is an essential element in the livestock, water softening, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. 

There are three primary methods for obtaining salt in North America:

  • Underground salt mining from deposits of ancient seabeds
  • Solar evaporation
  • Mechanical evaporation
  • After aviation fuel is purified, producers use salt to remove any remaining traces of water.
  • The history of salt traces back to as far as 6050 BC. Salt was used as part of religious offerings and to preserve mummies in Egypt. It was a valuable good traded between the Phoenicians and their Mediterranean empire.
  • The word “salary” derives from the Latin “sal.” In Roman times, salt was such a valuable commodity that army soldiers were sometimes paid with salt instead of money.

Where to Find Salt

Uses for Salt

Safety Salt keeps roads, parking lots, and walkways safe in wintertime. Using salt as a de-icing agent carries numerous advantages: it is abundant and easy to store, it is budget-friendly and has a low environmental impact when used properly. The sensible use of salt during winter weather ensures our safety, and uninterrupted mobility across supply chains to keep our economy strong.
Chemical Production and Water Treatment Salt is is an essential mineral to produce chlorine and caustic soda. Chlorine is an extremely effective disinfectant mostly known for its use in purifying drinking water and in swimming pools. Many chemicals, plastics and medicines depend on chlorine during the manufacturing process, all made possible by salt. Caustic soda is an essential ingredient in many industrial operations, including pulp and paper, detergent, textiles, and chemical processing. Salt is also used in the manufacturing of thousands of other commodities such as glass, paper, rubber, and textiles as well as in water softening systems for industry and domestic use.
Livestock and Agriculture Farmers and ranchers use salt as a dietary supplement for their livestock, either through specially feeds or the use of salt blocks.
Food and Health The human body is not capable of producing its own salt, and humans depend on various sources of salt in food to ensure their necessary daily intake. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Medical Association guidance for salt for people 14 years or older, with balanced nutrition, is limited to 2,300 milligrams per day. Salt is also used as a food preservative. Additionally, it is used by the pharmaceutical industry in a variety of applications including intravenous saline solutions and drug manufacturing.

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