Salt, also known as table salt or rock salt (halite), is a crystalline mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts. It is absolutely essential for animal life, but can be harmful to animals and plants in excess. Salt is one of the oldest, most ubiquitous food seasonings and salting is an important method of food preservation. The taste of salt (saltiness) is one of the basic human tastes.
Salt for human consumption is produced in different forms: unrefined salt (such as sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt. It is a crystalline solid, white, pale pink or light gray in color, normally obtained from sea water or rock deposits. Edible rock salts may be slightly grayish in color because of mineral content.
Because of its importance to survival, salt has often been considered a valuable commodity during human history. However, as salt consumption has increased during modern times, scientists have become aware of the health risks associated with high salt intake, including high blood pressure in sensitive individuals. Therefore, some health authorities have recommended limitations of dietary sodium, although others state the risk is minimal for typical western diets.
Famous quotes containing the word salt:
“Well, I know you havent had much experience writing and none at all in pictures. But Ive heard about you. It all sounded like youre just the man I wanted for a story about the Navy. I dont want a story just about ships and planes. I want a story about the officers.... I want this story from a pen dipped in salt water not dry martinis. Do you know what I mean?”
—Frank Fenton, William Wister Haines, co-scenarist, and John Ford. John Dodge (Ward Bond)
“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.”
—Bible: New Testament, Matthew 5:13.
“Of all the flavors one eats, salt is indispensable; wherever one goes in the world, ones mother is dearest.”