- Jeff Bezos: $92.6 billion, technology, North America
- Jorge Paulo Leman: $30.8 billion, Food and beverage, South America
- Amancio Ortega: $77.8 billion, fashion,real estate, investment… Europe
- Aliko Dangote: $13.7 billion, cement, sugar, flour,salt,. … Africa
- Mukesh Ambani: $41.9 billion, Oil & Gas, Asia
- Gina Rinehart, $16.6 billion, Mining, Oceania
Can we imagine any food without salt? In addition to the taste it adds, Salt is an essential nutrient for the human body. It is an electrolyte which helps the transmission of the messages from different parts of the body to the brain and vice versa. It is present in the cells. Any imbalance in its concentration whether in the form of deficiency or excess can play havoc with our body. When dehydration occurs, the salt has to be replenished by the intake of oral rehydration solution. It is lost from our bodies during perspiration and blood becomes thicker and our bodies require water.
In addition salt is used as preservative for pickles and other foods. It acts as a barrier to the bacteria which attack the food and decompose it.
Salt comes from the evaporation of the seawater collected in the salt pans. After water evaporates the salt is left behind which is then made to undergo the processes of purification. Those who live in the urban areas and especially near sea coasts never feel it’s importance.
But still there are people living in the remote areas where access to this commodity is impossible. Some of such communities live in Kenya. These tribes, as the saying goes : “Necessity is the mother of invention ” has developed a way to compensate this by extracting the salts from the REED STALKS.
Bunches of river reed are cut into smaller pieces and dried on the hot stones for about a period of 3 days to reduce the inherent moisture. Then the stalks are put on very slow fire. When organic ingredients burn, the ash is left behind. Ash is collected and boiled with water and filtered to get pure salts dissolved in the filtrate while impurities are left behind.
The filtrate is then boiled till only the salt is left behind. Sometimes they add a pinch of pepper powder to add flavor to it.
This picture has been taken from the beautiful website from Luke Duggleby an ace photographer. URL to his website is given below.
(if the picture is not for free use, I will delete it)
“Our limbic brains love sugar, fat, salt.… So formulate products to deliver these. Perhaps add low cost ingredients to boost profit margins. Then “super size” to sell more.… And advertise/promote to lock in “heavy users.”” —Bob Drane, former vice president for new business strategy and development at Oscar Mayer.
From this statement, it is clear that foods containing Sugar, Fat and Salt appeal most to the human brain. Armed with this knowledge, the fast food companies design feel good foods and hook so many of us, particularly, the younger generation. It is the right combination of these that is important. The malaise of obesity is the result of those extra pounds generally come from the over consumption of soft drinks, snack foods, and fast foods.
Of course, the food companies do not want their customers obese because in that case they may start avoiding the fast food. But they want the “stomach share” in the food market. But processed-food companies increasingly turn to their legions of scientists to produce foods that we can’t resist. These food geeks tweak their products by varying the levels of the three so-called pillar ingredients—salt, sugar, and fat.
It turns out that although we generally do like such food more but after a certain intake, we like to take less. That optimum amount of salt, sugar, or fat is called the “Bliss Point”. Scientists also adjust these ingredients as well as factors such as crunchiness to produce a mouth feel—that is, the way the food feels inside a person’s mouth—that causes consumers to crave more. Technologists can also induce a flavor burst by altering the size and shape of the salt crystals themselves so that they basically assault the taste buds into submission.
The formula of successful junk-food science is the vanishing calorific density. Such food melts in your mouth so quickly that the brain is fooled into thinking it’s hardly consuming any calories at all, so it just keeps snacking. In the process, packaged-food scientists want to avoid triggering sensory-specific satiety, the brain mechanism that tells you to stop eating when it has become overwhelmed by big, bold flavors. Instead, the real goals are either passive overeating, which is the excessive eating of foods that are high in fat because the human body is slow to recognize the caloric content of rich foods, or auto-eating: that is, eating without thinking or without even being hungry. (The opposite problem is being overhungry, where you’re so ravenous that you’ll basically eat anything that’s put in front of you.) Either way, if you end up with a food baby, a distended stomach caused by excessive overeating, you’ve made a fast-food executive somewhere very happy.
All this is explored by Pulitzer award winning Journalist Michael Moss in his book “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Companies Hooked Us”