Difference Between Sea Salt vs. Rock Salt

Main Difference

The main difference between sea salt and rock salt is that the sea salt is sourced by evaporating the sea water and rock salt is obtained from underground rocks in the form of a mineral known as halite.

Sea Salt vs. Rock Salt

Sea salt, as explained by its name, is obtained from the sea water. Rock salt is an extract from underground rocks which form under the earth surface. In sea salt, seawater evaporates, and solid salty particles forms. These solid particles are picked later through a specialized method. After this, these particles are refined and packaged. In this way, sea salt gets ready for transportation to the consumers. There is an assumption about the rock salt that the sea water must evaporate long time ago and left salt particles. These salt particles covered under the sand and created rock salt. This rock salt is mined like other minerals and is refined for consumption. Sea salt is mined in abundant in floors of the Mediterranean Sea. This type of salt can also be found on other seas, especially the coastal region of the Indian Ocean. The significant depositories of rock salt are in Pakistan and the United States of America. These are the most significant natural rock salt mine in the world. Sea salt is in the crystalline form, which can be fine or coarse. It appears in the form of sheer and pyramid flakes. Rock salt has large and chunky crystals that are not uniform in nature. The color of sea salt ranges from pink, white, black, and gray depending on the type of impurities present and the place of origin. Rock salt has a gray color due to a large number of impurities.

Comparison Chart

Sea SaltRock Salt
Kind of salt that the sea salt is sourced by evaporating the sea waterObtained from underground rocks in the form of a mineral known as halite
Flavor
Subdued flavorStrong flavor
Minerals
Contains magnesium and sulfur other than sodium chlorideDoes not contain many elements other than sodium chloride
Usage
Used in spa treatments, pedicures, as a preservative for meats and seafoodMaking ice creams and dicing
Color
Pink, White, Black, or GreyGrey

What is Sea Salt?

Sea salt is the salt that is formed by evaporation of sea water. The seawater evaporates, and solid salty particles forms. After this, these particles are refined and packaged. In this way, sea salt gets ready for transportation to the consumers. It is usually considered to be less salty than the commonly used table salt. Sea salt is available in fine grain or larger crystals. Researches highlights that sea salt is healthier than iodized salt because it is less processed. There is always a possibility of impurities that are mixed up with sea salt. Therefore, filtration methods are used for obtaining sea salt containing fewer impurities. Sea salt is mainly used as food additives for preservation and flavoring purposes. It is also used in beauty related factors like spa treatments and pedicure. Sea salt is mostly used for meat and seafood preservation. The color of sea salt ranges from pink, white, black, and gray depending on the type of impurities present and the place of origin. Sea salt has a subdued flavor with briny notes which makes it use high as regular table salt in dishes. It contains 98% sodium chloride and many other minerals apart from sodium chloride. Some of these minerals are magnesium and sulfur, among others. The presence of these trace elements and other minerals is the reason for the mild flavor of sea salt. Large deposits of sea salt are in the Indian Ocean and other oceans around the world.

What is Rock Salt?

Rock salt is the salt mined from underground rock formations. The deposits of rock salt are likely to be in an enclosed bay, dry lake beds, and estuaries in arid regions. It is the industrial name used for halite because its source is the mineral ‘halite’. This salt has common use as table salt. Rock salt adds a salty taste to the food. Rock salt has sodium chloride as the most abundant component in its formation. It also contains other minerals. But they are in very small quantities that are difficult to detect. Rock salt has crystal particles that make it hard to dissolve in water or food. It contains NaCl, but it also has some impurities of gypsum and sylvite. Rock salt is present in a solid form. It is available in different variety of sizes. The used of rock salt is in places where large amounts of salt are required. It is used especially in ice cream making and melting of ice from roads. Also, rock salt has a stronger flavor, which makes it the most appropriate preservative for seafood and meat. Rock salt contains less foreign elements and a significantly higher composition of sodium chloride compound. But some impurities are present in rock salt that makes it exhibit the gray color.

Key Differences

  1. Sea salt is a type of salt that is collected on the floors of the sea after the sea water evaporates whereas rock salt is a variety of salt which is mined below the earth surface where it is in the forms of rocks.
  2. Sea salt is present in the form of large crystals or fine grains on the flip side rock salt is a large crystal salt.
  3. Sea salt has a large number of other elements including magnesium and sulfur, while rock salt contains very few impurities.
  4. The flavor of sea salt is mild conversely flavor of rock salt is stronger.
  5. Sea salt is mined in abundant in floors of the Mediterranean Sea and coastal region of the Indian Ocean, on the other hand, significant depositories of rock salt are present in Pakistan and the United States of America.

Conclusion

Sea salt and rock salt are the two salt varieties. Both came from different sources are different in their color, cost, composition, and flavor.

Author:

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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