Sodium chloride (NaCl), commonly known as salt, is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and an essential nutrient for many animals and plants. It is naturally found in seawater and in underground rock formations.
Uses & Benefits
- Sodium chloride is essential to maintain the electrolyte balance of fluids in a person’s body. If levels of electrolytes become too low or too high, a person can become dehydrated or over hydrated.
- Sodium chloride has been used to flavor and preserve foods for thousands of years. As a preservative, salt helps to prevent spoilage and helps to keep foods like ready-to-eat meats and cheeses safe to eat. Salt is also used in fermenting processes for foods like sauerkraut, pickles and kefir.
- Hospitals use an intravenous sodium chloride solution to supply water and salt to patients to alleviate dehydration.
- Icy sidewalks and roadways are often de-iced by rock salt, the same type of salt that is used on your dinner table, before it is ground down to finer crystals.
- Large quantities of sodium chloride are also used in industrial manufacturing settings to help make a range of products, from plastic, paper, rubber and glass, to chlorine, polyester, household bleach, soaps, detergents and dyes.