Table salt

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Table salt
NaCl polyhedra.png
IUPAC name Sodium chloride
Other names Halite
Rock salt
Table salt
CAS number 7647-14-5
PubChem 5234
EC number 231-598-3
KEGG D02056
MeSH Sodium+chloride
RTECS number VZ4725000
ATC code A12CA01
SMILES [Na+].[Cl-]
Beilstein Reference 3534976
Gmelin Reference 13673
Molecular formula NaCl
Molar mass 58.44 g mol−1
Appearance Colorless crystals
Odor Odorless
Density 2.165 g cm−3
Melting point

801 °C, 1074 K, 1474 °F

Boiling point

1413 °C, 1686 K, 2575 °F

Solubility in water 359 g L−1
Solubility in ammonia 21.5 g L−1
Solubility in methanol 14.9 g L−1
Refractive index (nD) 1.5442 (at 589 nm)
Related compounds
Other anions Sodium fluoride
Sodium bromide
Sodium iodide
Other cations Lithium chloride
Potassium chloride
Rubidium chloride
Caesium chloride
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Table salt, often called "cooking salt" or just "salt", is widely used in cooking to add flavor to food.

It is a compound of two chemical elements, sodium (symbol: Na) and chlorine (Cl). This is why it has the chemical name "sodium chloride" (symbol: NaCl). NaCl is an ionic solid which accounts for its high melting point and conductivity in solution.

In history, salt was very expensive. Salt was used to keep food from going bad. It was even used as money in some places.[1]

Crystals of sodium chloride are almost perfect cubes.

Atoms (as ions) in a crystal of sodium chloride. The blue ions are sodium and the green ions are chloride.
A magnified crystal of salt

When salt ( sodium chloride) is mixed with water, the salt dissolves into the water creating the Saline Solution.

Salt can be made by either evaporation or can be mined. To get sea salt, man-made holes are built then filled with sea water. The water evaporates and leaves behind salt.

Health[change | change source]

  • We need some salt to survive but too much salt is bad for our health. Salt raises blood pressure increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Adults should have at most 6 grammes of salt a day and children less.

Below is a table with the amounts of salt children should have daily at most.

  1. 1 to 3 years – 2g salt a day (0.8g sodium)
  2. 4 to 6 years – 3g salt a day (1.2g sodium)
  3. 7 to 10 years – 5g salt a day (2g sodium)
  4. 11 years and over – 6g salt a day (2.4g sodium) like adults

Most of the salt we eat is from food we buy rather than what we cook ourselves. To stay healthy we should check the salt content of food before we buy it and choose foods with less salt.[2]

References[change | change source]