Sea Salt FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about natural sea salt and the products created by Maine Sea Salt Company. If you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact the "Salt Man", owner Stephen Cook!
Q. I'm on a low-salt diet. Is sea salt better for me than table salt?
First, anyone on a salt-restricted diet should consult their doctor. With that said, there are great differences between table salt and natural, solar evaporated sea salt.
About table salt: Processed table salt has been evaporated at high temperatures to separate the over 72 beneficial trace minerals found in the sea. It is then washed, removing unwanted debris and the essential minerals, dried in a kiln, and bleached for color. Potassium iodide and sugar is then added to stabilize, and anti-caking agents such as aluminum silicate are added to make a conveniently flowing product.
About sea salt: Natural sea salt is more flavorful and enhances the flavor of foods much better than table salt. Natural sea salt does not contain additives and retains 2-8% naturally-occurring trace minerals by volume. A natural sea salt has irregular shapes, is moist, clumps in your hand, and sometimes has an off-white appearance. When buying sea salt, you must be sure that you are choosing a natural, unprocessed sea salt. Some sea salt is processed just like table salt to look more "perfect" in the store. As a rule, if the salt being offered looks perfect, it has probably been processed.
Benefits of sea salt: People on a salt-restricted diet should know that there is sodium in sea salt, but slightly less than an equal portion of table salt. Many people find that they use less sea salt as compared to table salt, because it is more flavorful, with trace minerals that represent 2-8% less sodium in every pinch.
Q. What is sea salt?
All salt originally came from the sea. The salt you use every day was probably mined underground, where an ancient ocean may have evaporated. Mined sea salt has lost much of its original quality. Modern processing has washed the salt of dirt, which also removes much of the trace minerals. Erosion of these minerals may also have occurred over millions of years.
Q. Why should I use sea salt?
Quality sea salt adds texture and flavor. Crystals - coarse or fine, may be applied in creative ways in your cooking. Natural sea salt is free of drying agents, free of chemicals for anti-caking, and without added iodine. Sea salt typically has a higher concentration of trace minerals.
Q. How does Maine Sea Salt Company extract salt from sea water?
Our natural sea salt is made by evaporating fresh sea water in shallow pools within solar greenhouses. Coarse crystals are formed as the ocean water evaporates, leaving behind pure sea salt crystals. Our salt is that pure!
Q. Why is sea salt moist?
The moisture in sea salt is an indication that it is a natural product. Sea salt attracts moisture from the atmosphere, which is why standard table salt has drying agents added to provide a more free-flowing product. Sea salt does not flow well in a shaker.
Q. Is sea salt organic?
Organic is a label placed on a food product such as vegetables that meet the requirements of an organic standard. These standards are usually designated by a government or trade association. Sea salt can be considered organic if it is produced in a natural way. Beware of some sea salt that has been processed and really isn't much different than table salt. The differences are difficult to distinguish. There is no organic trade association or government label for organic sea salt in the U.S.
Q. Do you use any MSG (monosodium glutamate) in your products?
No. We do not use any artificial flavorings or seasonings.
Q. How can I get a finer grind from my Maine Sea Salt crystals?
We've found that a coffee mill works very well for this purpose and keep a separate coffee mill specifically for grinding salt, herbs, and spices.