Does salt have an expiry date? Know facts about this flavour enhancer

Salt has the ability to eliminate or prevent the proliferation of bacteria in food items. Photo: webphotographeer/Istock

Brining or treating with salt is an ancient method of preserving vegetables, meat and fish. Salt has the ability to eliminate or prevent the proliferation of bacteria in food items. However, have you ever wondered whether salt could go stale?

Experts say that salt would never go stale or bad unless some minerals or flavours are added in it. When moisture gets mixed in salt, it may turn lumpy. Such salt wouldn’t expire for three years.

Representational photo: Milan Krasula/

Meanwhile, pure salt would remain fresh for up to five years. Salt varieties like the pink Himalayan salt that contains natural minerals too could be used for up to three years. Even though the quality of the salt may reduce after this, it is still safer to use them in food.

Different types of salt
Purified and iodised table salt are usually used in our kitchens. Anti-caking agents are added to it to prevent lumps.

Kosher salt doesn’t contain any additives. It is used for cooking and to remove surface blood from meat.

Representational photo:

The Himalayan pink salt is a halite that is mined from the Khewra salt mine in Pakistan. The presence of iron, magnesium and other minerals give it pink colour.

Representational photo: vikif/iStock

Black salt is a type of sulphur salt that is used in Indian cuisine. It has a unique flavour and aroma and is used in many South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

How to preserve salt
It is easy to preserve salt as bacteria or viruses aren’t ‘interested’ in contaminating it. So, salt need not be stored in air-tight containers. However, make sure that salt is kept in a clean and dry container. Keep salt in a cold and dark place, away from sunlight and heat to preserve its flavour and quality. 

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