Common salt or sodium chloride
Characteristics of salt
What is salt?
Salt is known scientifically as sodium chloride. Its scientific formula is NaCl. It is a compound consisting of several minerals. It is colorless or white when presented in pure form and color features when displayed together with other impurities. It consists of small cubes. It is one of the most abundant elements on Earth.
Salt is formed by chloride and sodium. These minerals, like potassium, electrolytes are considered, ie have electrical properties. Potassium and sodium have positive charges, chloride has negative charges.
From a viewpoint of the human body, sodium and chloride are involved in the balance of body fluids with potassium. Cells have potassium inside the same, while sodium is found abroad. The balance is achieved by moving either into or out of cells through cell membranes. This movement is what determines the transport of nutrients into the cell and the excretion of waste products and excess water from it.
Where can salt be found?
- In the sea: The main source to obtain salt are sea waters are where the salt is dissolved at a rate of 3%. There are some seas such as the Dead Sea, containing up to 5%. The salt concentration at the poles does not pass within 1%. It also appears in the fresh water although the concentrations are usually too small to appreciate its flavor.
- In dry lakes and rivers: When the water in lakes, inland seas or rivers are dry, the salt deposited on their beds. This will form large salt deposits called salinas. Very well known are the salt of the “Salar de Atacama”, a vast region between Argentina and Bolivia to almost 2400 m high.
- In the salt mines: These are concentrations that are formed underground when the outer layers of salt were buried by other sediments. This type of salt is known as rock salt. Here salt is usually accompanied by other elements that are the loe provide the color. Cardona mines in Spain are an example of such mines.
More information on sodium