What Is Dendritic Salt | Facts & Uses 2020 (Studies)

Natural Pioneers What is dendritic salt Facts and Uses

Less commonly known but quite powerful: Dendritic salt has many properties that make it a preferred choice for bath salts and seasoning of snacks. This article will give you the nuts and bolts of dendritic salt with its benefits and uses.

Dendritic salt is a form of table salt with a star-like structure. It is highly processed and has all minerals removed, resulting in 99.9% sodium chloride. With its large surface, high solubility and blending ability, dendritic salt is used industrially as well as in food seasoning and bath salts.

Let’s get an overview of what’s to come and check out the Quick Facts!

1. Quick Facts

  • Chemically processed table salt with a star-like crystal structure
  • Sticks well to surfaces and is used to salt many snacks, like potato chips
  • Usually contains a crystal modifying agent and anti-caking agent
  • Cost-effective option for manufacturers to add bulk to their products
  • Morton Salt is the only manufacturer of dendritic salt in the US
  • Holds 2.5x the amount of fragrance & coloring, making it an ideal bath salt
  • Prices are on par with other high purity salts

2. What Is Dendritic Salt?

Dendritic salt is a form of table salt (sodium chloride). “Dendrite” stands for a crystal with a branching treelike structure. This makes sense, since dendritic salt is made by treating salt brine with a chemical that causes the crystals to grow at the corners, giving it a 3-dimensional, star-like shape. [1]

In other words, dendritic salt is a highly processed, commercially manufactured salt. Unlike natural salts like sea salt or Himalayan salt that contain minerals, dendritic salt has its minerals removed. It is a very pure salt, consisting of 99.9% sodium chloride, with less than 100 p.p.m. calcium and magnesium impurities.

Its large surface makes it a salt that is highly soluble and has a great blending ability. Furthermore, the star-like appearance of dendritic salt gives it the ability to absorb moisture without becoming wet. [2]

For example, when used in bath salts, it helps maintain fragrance, holds essential oils stronger and for longer, requires less pigment, and reduces clumping.

The price or dendritic salt is on a par with other high purity salts. It has a long shelf life without caking which is why it’s used as a preservative for sea salt bath blends.

Dendritic salt is often used for bath salts. Bath salts are commonly made of Epsom salts, baking soda, sodium hexametaphosphate, dendritic salt, table salt, sodium sesquicarbonate, borax, or sodium citrate.

Dendritic salt usually contains a crystal modifying agent (yellow prussiate of soda) as well as a moisture-absorbing, free-flowing anti-caking agent (sodium silicoaluminate).

Conclusion: Dendritic salt is a form of table salt with a 3 dimensional, star-like structure. It is a highly processed, commercially manufactured salt and has all minerals removed resulting in 99.9% sodium chloride. With its large surface, high solubility and blending ability, dendritic salt is used in many industries as well as in food seasoning and bath salts.

Natural Pioneers What is dendritic salt Facts and Uses Dendritic salt facts

3. How Is Dendritic Salt Made?

Some salts go through very little processing, for example natural Himalayan salt or sea salt. Sea salt, for example, is produced through evaporation of ocean water. This usually leaves behind certain healthy trace minerals and adds flavor to the salt.

While regular table salt is a highly processed salt already, and enriched with iodine and anti caking agents, dendritic salt takes the processing even further.

  1. Hydraulic Mining: Water is pumped below the earth’s surface to dissolve salt deposits and create a salt brine.
  2. Purification: This brine is then pumped to the surface and treated with sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate to remove calcium and magnesium impurities. Most table salt is produced with this method.
  3. Star-shaping: The brine which is then treated with a chemical (sodium ferrocyanide) that causes the crystals to grow at the corners.
  4. Vacuum evaporation: The salt brine now passes to vacuum pans, where hot steam brings the brine to boiling. Salt crystals form and remain in suspension until they grow large enough to sink to the bottom of the pan, where they are pumped off as a slurry.
  5. Washing: This slurry is washed and the crystals filtered out.
  6. Drying: Finally, the salt is dried, and screened.
  7. Packaging: The finished product is finely granulated, enriched with an anti-caking agent, and packaged.

Conclusion: Dendritic salt is further processed form of table salt. After extracting it from underground surfaces, it is purified and chemically treated to create its remarkable star-shape. Vacuum evaporation followed by washing, drying and packaging finish the process.

Natural Pioneers What is dendritic salt Facts and Uses How is dendritic salt made

4. Benefits Of Dendritic Salt

The special shape of dendritic salt gives it many advantages over other cube-shape salts. When it comes to its uses outside industrial applications, namely in food and bath salts, take special consideration: While its benefits seem enticing, dendritic salt is a highly processed form of table salt. There are more natural and healthy salts available for consumption and bath salts. Let’s take a look at the benefits of dendritic salt.

  1. More Absorptive: In bath salts, dendritic salt provides an unmatched ability to hold fragrances and essential oils. It can hold up to 2.5x the amount than other salts can handle. Dendritic salt is an excellent medium to disperse more expensive materials.
  2. Doesn’t Reflect Light: While most salt has a cube-like shape, it reflects light and sparkles. The star-like shape of dendritic salt shows an irregular surface and doesn’t reflect light which is favored in the textile dying industry where salt reduces the tendency of the fabric to repel the dye.
  3. Adherence: The star and porous shape of this salt makes it adhere to surfaces much better than regular salts. Dendritic salt is a preferred seasoning salt for potato chips and popcorn blends.
  4. Cost Savings: Dendritic salt has a larger surface area than traditional salt so less dendritic salt is required to fill the same amount of space as other salts. This makes it a cost-effective option for manufacturers to add bulk to their products. From the customer perspective: what looks like a lot, really isn’t all that much.
  5. Prevents Clumping: The characteristics of dendritic salt in combination with its anti caking agents prevent clumping. It is commonly used in breakfast cereals, toppings, mixes, and blends.
  6. Blendable: The star-like shape of the salt crystal gives it fantastic blending properties. The fragile, low bulk density makes this salt blend without salt sinking to the bottom of your blend.
  7. Flow: Exceptional flow characteristics of this salt reduce flow interruptions and bridging that can commonly occur with other flake grades.
  8. Solubility: Dendritic salt’s rapid dissolving rate helps speed-up manufacturing processes and can save on labor costs.
  9. Ideal Bath Salt Properties: Dendritic salt retains more than 2.5 times the amount of volatile essential oils as compared to regular salts. This helps coloring to stick better, scents to retain longer, and dissolve faster in bath water.
Natural Pioneers What is dendritic salt Facts and Uses Benefits of dendritic salt

5. Uses Of Dendritic Salt

Generally, salt is used in many industrial processes including the manufacture of plastics, paper, leather, and textiles but also in the pharmaceutical, soap and detergent industry and in farming. Only about 6% o produced salt is used for human consumption. [3]

Dendritic Salt In Food

According to Morton Salt, which is the only manufacturer of dendritic salt in the US, dendritic salt is used for: [4]

  • Cereals & Baked Goods: Instant hot breakfast cereal, ready-to-eat cereal, toppings for snack crackers, croutons and bread crumbs
  • Dry Blends & Seasonings: Breading, batter, processed mixes, vegetable protein, soy flour/powder, oil/extract powders, meat cures, tenderizers
  • Soups, Sauces & Dressings: Soups, sauces, gravies, pourable dressings and seasoning premixes
  • Meat, Poultry & Fish: Fish fillets, sausages, franks, bologna, frozen eggs, chill brines, marinades and seasoning premix
  • Condiments, Spreads & Processed Vegetables: Margarine, mayonnaise, peanut butter
  • Snacks & Sweets: Chips, crackers, cheese puffs, popcorn and nuts, instant cocoa/drink mixes, chocolate syrup, coatings/crème centers, gelatin, instant pudding/topping
  • Sodium Reduction: Retail seasonings and topical applications

Dendritic Salt In Bath Salt

Dendritic salt shows ideal bath salt properties and is used in many commercially available bath salts. Dendritic salt doesn’t hold any therapeutic benefits in and of itself. While it may possess favorable features, bath salts like Dead Sea salts carry vast amounts of health benefits.

When making your own bath salts, we recommend using 1 cup of dendritic salt to every 20 cups of other salts. If you use essential oils, apply them directly to dendritic salt and mix well prior to incorporating other salts and ingredients. It’s important to add any fragrance or coloring directly to the dendritic, and then add that mixture to the rest of the salt.

Learn more about natural bath salts here: Quick And Easy Guide To Bath Salts

Conclusion: While dendritic salts have some amazing properties for uses in food and bath salts, it’s important to consider that this is a highly processed salt. In food, there are more natural and nutritious options available like natural Himalayan salt or sea salt. They contain healthy trace minerals and have more to offer when it comes to flavor. As far as bath salt goes, the skin remains our largest organ. It is crucial to avoid irritants that are commonly found in commercially produced bath salts. Generally, we at Natural Pioneers prefer simple Dead Sea salts with drops of essential oil, like lavender. In order to make use of dendritic salt’s amazing properties, we recommend using small amounts to enhance the flavors of essential oils and have the majority of your bath salt be a health beneficial salt like Dead Sea salts.

5. Recipe For Lavender Bath Salt | 4 Ingredients

Dead Sea Lavender Bath Salt

Total Time10 mins
Servings: 4 Bail Jars
Author: Claire @ Natural Pioneers

Equipment

  • Four 8 oz Bail Jars

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ tbsp Dendritic salt
  • 3 cups Dead Sea salts
  • 40 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 1 tbsp Dried Lavender

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the Dendritic salt and the lavender essential oil. Use your hands and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the Dead Sea salts. Mix well.
  • Add the dried lavender buds. Mix in thoroughly.
  • Transfer the salt to the bail jars. Store the salts in a dry, cool place. Once you’re ready to use, add ½ cup to your hot bath water. Enjoy!