Salt: What comes to your mind hearing this word? Taste, food, flavour, and delicacies? Maybe these are the words that strike first when you hear this
flavourful word. Now, it has almost become a universal truth that Indian foods are next to impossible without this precious ingredient. One can say
that food without salt is unimaginable. Also, the properties of salt make it unique. It has its own specific taste but also has the potential to enhance the
flavour of other ingredients. Apart from food, salt has numerous other uses as well. Its chemical name is sodium chloride.
It will not be an exaggeration that salt is one of the oldest things found on earth. The history goes back to billions of years. With time we got to know about
its qualities and its applications. If we go to the documentation part, then the Chinese have a rich history of salt. According to Chinese historians, people harvested
salt whenever the water evaporated during summers in the lakes. The date goes back to about 6000BC. On the other and, few records indicate that people used containers made
from clay to boil the water from the ocean until they obtained salt from it. This technique was widespread in Europe during the Roman rule. Moreover, a few pieces of evidence
indicate that Egyptians also used salt thousands of years before. Today salt has many applications that are beyond taste and flavour.
According to a report, the worldwide salt production stood at more than 300 million metric tons in the year 2018. Here also, China topped the chart with the massive salt production
reaching 68 million tons. Few reports suggest that by the year 2025, the market will touch US$5.2 Billion. It has been observed that rock salt will provide a good momentum in growth
globally. If we see the market share, then we get to know that around 25 million tons of edible salt is used worldwide, which is a considerable amount.
India comes at third position in terms of salt production just next to the US and China. The average annual production of salt stood near 20.31 million tons. If we see state wise,
then Gujarat ranks first with 71% salt production in the country. The second-largest salt producer is Rajasthan, which produces around 17% of the salt. Tamil Nadu spots at third position
with 11% of salt production whereas the rest of the country produces a mere 1% of salt.
We all know that salt is used for cooking food, but it has some other important uses other than flavouring our food. Salt plays an important part in various industries. In terms of consumption,
the chemical industry is the largest consumer. On the other hand, the textile and leather industry also depends on salt for various processes. Wool and cotton finishing, bleaching and dying, etc.
are few among them. In addition to this, salt plays a significant role in waste and water treatment. The pharmaceutical industry also depends on it due to specific uses. Since animals also need
salt to remain healthy, salt owns a special place in the animal feed industry.