Everyday Science: Salt Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Calling someone the "salt of the earth" is a compliment for a reason. Salt has been an immensely important and coveted substance throughout history. The more you learn about salt, the more you'll appreciate that shaker on your kitchen table.

What are the two basic elements that make up salt?

Sodium and chlorine make up salt.


What's the name for the condition in which someone is suffering from too little salt?

Hyponatremia is the condition of having too little salt and is one of the most common electrolyte disturbances. You can lose sodium when you sweat or urinate excessively, experience severe vomiting or diarrhea, or when you drink a lot of water (which is why sports drinks contain electrolytes). Ultimately, hyponatremia can lead to brain swelling and death.


According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute, what is the most salt we should consume per day?

The National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute recommends that most people consume no more than 2.4 grams of sodium (the equivalent of about one teaspoon) per day.


Common table salt usually contains what additive?

Iodine was first added to salt in the mid-1920s to combat an epidemic of hyperthyroidism, an enlargement of the thyroid gland caused by hormonal irregularities due to lack of iodine. Because we can usually get iodine from many sources other than the salt that we cook with, there's no reason to worry about using noniodized salt, like kosher salt.


Which kind of salt can be found in a variety of colors?

Sea salt can come in varieties of pink, black, gray or a combination of colors, depending on where it originates and the minerals it contains.


About how many tons of salt were produced in the world in 2006?

In 2006, more than 200 million tons of salt were produced in the world. China is the largest producer with 48 million tons, followed closely by the United States with 46 million tons, according to the Salt Institute.


Which of the following salt harvesting methods is used to produce most of the table salt we consume?

Most table salt is produced using solution mining. This involves erecting wells into salt deposits and injecting water to make a brine that's pumped out and evaporated.


Which of the following methods is the purest way to harvest salt?

Solar evaporation is the purest way to harvest salt, often resulting in nearly 100 percent sodium chloride. However, only areas with low annual rainfall and high evaporation rates -- Mediterranean countries and Australia, for example -- can have successful solar evaporation plants.


Which important function can salt serve in relation to food?

Salt is both important for regulating yeast fermentation in bread and for preserving meats.


Which historical person lead a famous protest against salt taxes?

Gandhi protested British salt taxes in India in March 1930 by marching for 23 days with his followers.


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