Aktualisiert: Apr 9
In this blog entry we will compare some of the salts that are available on the market & will pick the ones that are best suited for lacto-fermentation.
Salt is obviously very important in the process of vegetable lacto-fermentation as it helps to draw the juices out of vegetables. Those salty juices create a liquid environment for Lactobacillus bacteria to multiply & that salty environment prevents the harmful bacteria from developing. So when using salt, the question comes up: which one?
We have always been proponents of natural & unprocessed substances, as anything that is processed, or highly processed, is for the most part lacking some of the valuable substances.
That goes for flour, for sugar & it also applies to salt.
In our daily life we use 3 types of salt. Each one of them is slightly different & each of of them provides us with different micro elements & different minerals. So for cooking we use Himalayan pink salt. For raw vegetables like tomatoes, avocado or cucumbers we use Indian Black Salt - Kala Namak.
Kala Namak contains higher amounts of a sulfur compound & it has been praised in Ayurveda for its medical properties.
And finally for fermenting, we have been using French unrefined sea salt.
Salt is basically sodium chloride & "the human body can't live without some sodium.
It's needed to transmit nerve impulses, contract and relax muscle fibers (including those in the heart and blood vessels), and maintain a proper fluid balance."
Dr. David Brownstein, author of Salt Your Way to Health, advocates the use of unrefined salt, saying, “What conventional doctors and most mainstream organizations have failed to grasp is the difference between refined salt and unrefined salt…Refined salt lacks minerals and causes acidosis (lowered pH). Our bodies were meant to function optimally with adequate mineral levels and adequate salt intake. Only the use of unrefined salt can provide both of these factors.” (for more click here)
Unrefined sea salt has a dense mineral and nutrient profile. For that reason we have been using unrefined sea salt for many years. You can find it in many forms & from different places.
We personally use this brand as it is available in our local BIO store.
This salt is also included in our Fermentation Set
Another good choice for fermenting is a Celtic Grey Salt.
So that is one category - unrefined sea salt - almost always available in stores or online.
Another category are the salts that come from salt mines.
One of the most famous of them is Himalayan salt.
Himalayan salt is also packed with minerals & micro elements - containing almost all that the human body needs. Many people use it for fermenting & we can definitely recommend using it, if for some reason you want to stay away fro sea salt.
There are also local unrefined salts that are excavated from salt mines. These are always good choices for fermentation.
Now, what we do not recommend for fermenting are the refined white table salts, especially the ones that were highly refined. Not only those salts do not give you any beneficial nutrients, but also most of them contain anti-caking substances. Besides those, some of those salts might even contain some toxic substance, like fluoride - which you can see the pic below.
Highly refined salts are simply pure sodium chloride (NaCl). They are processed at very high temperatures (around 1200 F or about 650 C). Those temperatures change the natural chemical structure of the salt. As a result such salts are harmful to human body & contribute to such problems like the increased blood pressure.
Also, since their chemical structure was changed during processing, our body has problems recognizing it as a natural substance.
The best solution is to stay away from it.
Stay away from it, but not only in fermenting, but also in cooking.
You can always use such salt in Winter to get rid of ice on the path walk.