By Kuljeet Singh
Salt played a major role in the life of human beings as well as other living beings such as Cow, Goat, Sheep and horses etc. In chemistry, we have different types of salts like sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium sulphate, copper sulphate etc.
Here, we discuss common salt which is sodium chloride. It is an ionic inorganic compound that is made up of sodium and chlorine element. The amount of sodium and chlorine in sodium chloride is 40% and 60%. The sodium and chlorine react with each other in a fixed ratio which is 1:1 to form sodium chloride.
Na + Cl → NaCl
Sodium chloride is a crystalline solid which is highly soluble in water. Its chemical formulae are NaCl and have a molecular formula of 58.44g and a density of 2.16g. Sodium chloride is also known as table salt, sea salt, rock salt and food salt etc.
The majority of salt is found in seawater and rock salt . Seawater is a very rich source of salt due to sun heat seawater get evaporated and salt remain in the form of residue. Salt is known for its role as a flavouring agent in food . Everyone has a desire that food has a salty flavour. Salt also balance sweetness and suppress the taste of another flavour like bitterness. It is also used as a preservative by lowering the water activity which is required for various microorganism species growth. The effect of salt on microorganisms depends on a number of factors which may be intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic factors include Hydrogen ion concentration, moisture content, nutrient content of food, antimicrobial substance, biological structure and ph.
Extrinsic factors include Temperature of storage, presence and concentration of gases in the environment, relative and humidity of food storage. Many of the microbial species survive in a low alkaline medium of salt but when the concentration of salt increases it may kill the organism.
Intake of Salt in Food
Salt consist of sodium performs a vast role in our body by regulating the fluid balance. It also transmits nerve impulses, muscle contraction and relaxation and transport digested food from cell to cell. In our body, about 90% of sodium comes from foods that consist of salt. I nearly time humans may take a low concentration of salt in the diet which has been estimated at a daily intake of 768mg that is equivalent to 1.92 g which is a very low amount.
An adult human has a need of 4g to 8g salt daily which is enough to meet the physiological needs. Children’s have needed to take a low concentration of salt as compared to adult humans.
A report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) suggests that salt intake for children to be in the range of 0.6g per day for newborn baby 1.8g per day for 4-6 year child 4.08g for 7 to 13 year old and 4-8g for above 13 years.
When we take salt in a balanced mood it will helpful for our body functioning. It performs a little bit role in the process of digestion and absorption of food. Sodium chloride activates an enzyme in our mouth named salivary amylase which starts the process of digestion by breaking food to some extent . The hydrochloric acid (HCL) present on the wall of the stomach is also forms due to sodium chloride which is very important for digestive secretion.
Salt helps in the proper functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid gland is a vital hormone gland that plays a major role in the metabolism growth and development of the human body . For the proper secretion of the thyroid, our bodies have a need of mineral which is iodine which is present in salt. Salt keeps our body hydrated and boost our body hydration level and electrolytic balance in our body which is necessary for the functioning of our body organ system. Salt keeps our body hydrated and boost our body hydration level and electrolytic balance in our body which is necessary for the functioning of our body organ system. Salt keeps our body hydrated and boost our body hydration level and electrolytic balance in our body which is necessary for the functioning of our body organ system.
Excessive Intake of Salt
We know that salt is very essential for our body but we need to take it in a balanced way.
Excessive intake of salt may cause serious ill effects like the development of hypertension and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as (hypertensive) individuals with rising to high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is referring a force of blood against the wall of arteries. High salt intake has a direct impact on skin irritation and causes diseases like Ecazema. It triggers the immune system to release T-cells which may cause inflammation.
Other illnesses caused by excessive intake of salt including the development of kidney stones, other kidney disease and ultimately kidney failure. Stomach cancer is one of the most deadly diseases which may also cause by excessive intake of salt in some extent .increase in the concentration of salt in the diet may lead to increase sodium excretion in urine.
Conclusion: we should need to take salt in a balanced way intake of low or high salt may lead to serious effects in our body . Excess of everything is bad.
(The author Kuljeet Singh is an M.Sc Chemistry student of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal Central University and you can reach through Email:[email protected] Cont.:- 9596667846.)
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