1. List the composition of salt
2. Explain the types of salt
3. Describe the role of salt in cookery
Salt is the most widely used ingredient throughout the world. The other name for saltis sodium chloride. Salt helps to bring out the flavor of other ingredients It IS also known as table salt. Salt consists of two elements sodium and chlorine. Sodium is an essential element for maintaining human and animal life. The human body requires 5gms of salt each day.
The composition of salt is as follows:
– 99.5% Sodium Chloride
– .5% -Sodium and calcium sulphate, calcium and magnesium chloride and iron compounds
– Iodine in very small quantity Some drying agents are used to prevent salt from forming lumps.
QUALITIES OR CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD SALT
1. Salt of good quality dissolves readily in water to form a clear solution.
2. It should not have a bitter taste which is caused due to addition of excess of sulphites or drying agents.
3. It should not be yellowish in colour which indicates addition of excessive iron compounds.
4. It should not have any lumps.
Salt is obtained from two sources:
1. Rock salt
Rock salt is Simply crystallized salt also known as halite. It is the result of evaporation of ancient oceans millions of years ago. Rock salt is quite pure and may contain traces of rocky impurities like shale and quartz.
Brine is water containing a high concenfration of salt. The most obvious source of brine is the ocean but it can also be obtained from salty lakes. Natural brines always contain other substances dissolved along with the salt. The most common of these are magnesium chloride, magnesium sulphate, calcium sulphate, potassium chloride, magnesium bromide and calcium carbonate. The brine is usually collected into shallow ponds and allowed to evaporate in the sun.
(b) TYPES OF SALT
There are different types of salt available in the market. They are as follow:
1 Rock salt
2 Cooking salt
3 Table salt
4. Black salt
5. Low sodiurn salt
6. Iodized salt
7. Sea Salt
Rock salt comes from underground deposits formed due to the drying up of inland lakes and seas. Water is pumped into salt caves and salt water known as brine is then boiled and allowed to form crystals. The term rock salt is used to describe larger Crystals‘which are superior in flavor.
Sea salt is produced by the evaporation of sea water. Sea salt is an impure salt containing natural iodine and other compounds.
Cooking salt is refined salt which is free flowing and obtained from rock salt or sea Salt Magnesium carbonate is added to keep it free flowing.
Table salt is of finer texture than cooking salt and is generally placed on the table.
Low sodium salt contains a lesser percentage of sodium and was introduced due to health fears
Iodized salt is the term given when sodium iodide, an essential mineral is added to table salt.
Black salt is actually dark grey and is pinkish in colour when powdered. It is mostly used in Indian cooking and it brings out a smoky flavour when added to the product.
(c) ROLE OF SALT IN COOKERY
Salt is usually the most widely used common ingredient. The role of salt in cooking is as follows.
– It is used to preserve food by osmosis (removes moisture content from the food and thus prevents bacterial growth)
– It is used to bring out the flavour of all the ingredients present in the dish.
– It adds taste to the product
– It regulates the action of yeast used in breads.
– It strengthens gluten (insoluble flour protein)
– It lowers the caramelisation temperature in cake batters and helps in obtaining the crust colour
– A pinch of salt added to egg white makes beating of egg white easier
– While boiling green / White vegetables, addition of salt helps improving the colour, retains their mineral content and also helps in bringing out the worms in cauliflower / broccoli
(d) Storage and Handling
– should be stored in a cool, dry place.
– It should be attired away from direct sunlight.
– It should be stored in airtight containers.
– Salt corrodes most metals and hence should be stored in plastic or ceramic containers.
Salt contains no calories, proteins or carbohydrates, but plays a very important role in cooking. Salt IS the universal seasoning in every cuisine. It is an essential nutrient and is desirable m a small quant1ty.lt does not have any characteristic odour.