Salt Collection Methods and What Makes Food Grade Salt Different?

Food grade salt is the purest form of salt you can buy. The typical range is 99.7 to 99.99% pure sodium chloride (NaCl).

How is it possible to achieve such a high percentage of purity? The answer is evaporation. Two of the main three salt collecting methods use a form of evaporation and are responsible for the majority of food grade salt production

Salt Collecting Methods – The Big Three

1. Mining

Machines drill and blast salt deposits and lift them up to the surface. This process brings with it many impurities, however, and its product of rock salt is most often used for ice melt and other settings where purity is not the top priority. This is often the least expensive form of harvesting salt.

2. Solar Evaporation

Food grade salt from solar evaporation is the oldest method of collection, and it’s exactly as its name describes. Saltwater is left in shallow pits for the sun to evaporate the water, and then the crystals of salt are collected. This produces a very pure salt crystal with a sodium chloride percentage of around 99.6 to 99.8%

3. Vacuum Evaporation

The highest grade of purity needed for food and chemical grade salt is produced by vacuum evaporation. Brine is pumped into vacuum pans and steam heat is used to boil the salt. A chain of these vacuum chambers is linked together and the pressure drops in each chamber in order to allow the brine to boil at lower temperatures. The resulting salt precipitate is harvesting. The salt produced is very high quality and typically a very small grain.

Food grade salt isn’t just for salting your meat and potatoes, though. Food grade salt is used for anything that requires the highest purity available. Pharmaceutical companies also use this grade of salt in order to maintain proper chemical ratios in their products.

Check out The Cope Company’s food-grade salt products here!