Used in food preservation, salt not only discourages the growth of spoilage bacteria but also allows harmless flavour-producing bacteria to grow. Salt easily penetrates food as its atoms are small and very mobile, making it ideal for this purpose.

Many of the world’s favourite foods are the result of preserving the harvest with salt. Olives are inedibly bitter when they are fresh, however, soaked in brine they become delicious.

Salt has been used since ancient times to preserve meat and fish. Ham, prosciutto and gravolax are all traditional foods that were developed through using salt as a preservative.

Similarly, pickles such as tomato, Moroccan preserved lemons and gherkins have traditionally used salt to preserve the fruit and vegetable harvest.

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