The formation of rock salt often dates back millions of years. Remains of long gone and dried up seas and salt lakes are stored underground at a depth of several hundred meters where they form rock salt reservoirs, also called salt domes. They were formed by the separation of sea arms from the oceans, by changes in sea level, and by tectonic shifts. Salt has always been of great importance to mankind because it is essential for life. In mythology, it was therefore even considered a divine gift. To share bread and salt is a sign of friendship. But salt does not only play a role as an essential food component: It has always been a means of preserving perishable food and thus a protection against disease. Today, rock salt is also used for various industrial purposes.
The Origin of Our Rock Salt
We obtain the rock salt for our BERTRAND drinking meals from Germany. The high-purity, white rock salt comes from raw material sources at a depth of 400 to 750 meters. Our supplier has been extracting high-quality rock salt from the rich salt dome between Wesel and Xanten since 1925.
The area with the up to 200 meter thick salt layer is known as the “Lower Rhine salt pan”. The salt is so pure that it is used not only for food but also for pharmaceutical applications. It is classified as an organic-biological product and also carries the “kosher” and “halal” seals. Our supplier is GMP-certified (Good Manufacturing Practice) and works according to quality management guidelines (DIN EN ISO 9001). By using rock salt from Germany, we keep the transport distances short and thus the CO2 footprint low.
Extraction and Processing of Rock Salt
Rock salt contrasts with sea salt. The main difference between the two types of salt is the method of extraction and age. Sea salt is “young” salt: It is “harvested” again and again in so-called salt gardens, as the skimming is called. In this process, seawater is passed through a widely ramified system of basins and canals, the water evaporates at the surface due to solar radiation, and the salt concentration increases steadily. Finally, the crystalline salt can be removed from the surface. The highest quality sea salt is the salt flower, sold as “Fleur de Sel.” Our rock salt, on the other hand, is an “old” salt because it often waits several hundred years in the earth to be “mined,” completely unspoiled by environmental influences. And this is how it works.
TRAPPED IN THE GROUND FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS
Rock salt can be extracted in different ways. The rock salt used for our products is a high-quality, absolutely natural salt. This is also known as mining, as the process takes place underground. For this purpose, mainly drilling methods to free the rock salt from the mountain in large blocks or lumps are used.
THE SALT HAS TO COME OUT OF THE CAVE
In order to be able to further process the large chunks of salt, the salt is roughly broken into smaller pieces in the first stage while still underground. Only then is it possible to bring it up to the surface of the earth via conveyor systems.
Depending on the application, the rock salt is crushed into different grain sizes. In the course of this, it passes through various grinding stages, whereby it is also repeatedly passed through special sieves. In this way, grain sizes from 0.1 millimeters up to 16 millimeters can be produced. The rock salt for our products has a very fine grain size.
WE NEED IT DRY
PACKAGING AND TRANSPORT
Since salt is hygroscopic, i.e. it attracts moisture, it is important to choose packaging that is as environmentally friendly as possible but at the same time ensures that the product remains dry. Therein it can then be stored and finally transported to us.
Why Rock Salt?
The rock salt we use is highly pure, not chemically or mechanically processed, not bleached, and contains no additives of any kind. Because the underground deposits are shielded from all influences, no microplastics can reach the salt, as can be the case with sea salt. We at BERTRAND add this absolutely natural product to our products because it is an essential part of our diet.
The Role of Salt in Our Body?
Something most people are not conscious of: Our body fluid to a large extent consists of saltwater. Although the salt content is only 0.9 percent, this fact makes salt an essential part of our organism. By the way, you can even taste this salt content: our tears and sweat taste salty. The role of salt thus goes far beyond that of a mere seasoning.
The water-soluble compound between positively charged sodium ions and negatively charged chloride ions is responsible for a balanced fluid balance in our organism. Salt, also known as “sodium chloride” or NaCl, supports the nutrient balance inside and outside the body cells, with a constant exchange of water through the cell membrane. As a result, minerals and trace elements reach the body cells. This mechanism, which depends on the salt concentration, is known as osmosis.
So humans would not be able to survive without salt intake. A severe lack of salt would lead to convulsive and fainting fits. A long-term low salt intake causes the cholesterol and adrenaline levels to rise, which can be unfavorable for the heart and vessels. However, if you ingest too much salt, this can also have an unfavorable effect. The kidneys have to excrete excess salt and are thus unnecessarily burdened. The DGE (German Society for Nutrition) recommends a maximum daily salt intake of 6 grams.
Table salt obtained from rock salt usually has this typical composition: 59.9 percent chloride, 38.8 percent sodium, 0.25 percent calcium, 0.15 percent phosphorus, 0.12 percent magnesium, 0.02 percent sulfur and traces of potassium. While the minerals and trace elements – with the exception of potassium – are negligible in this case, chloride and sodium certainly play a noteworthy role.