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Marnoto Flor de Sal Gourmet Whole Sea Salt
500gms in a re-sealable plastic pack

Marnoto Flor de Sal gourmet whole sea salt is probably one of the best salts in the world. It is as Nature intended - unrefined, unprocessed and uncontaminated - and still harvested in the same simple way as practised by the Romans some 2,000 years ago. Unlike most other sea salts (which are often 98-99% sodium chloride thanks to the way they are harvested and refined) it contains the natural levels of many of the salts (including magnesium and potassium), minerals and vital trace elements found in seawater. We found it after six years of intermittent research into the differences between rock salts and sea salts, between refined salts and unrefined salts, and between the different methods of mining and harvesting.

Read more about the research

Flor de Sal (Flower of Salt) has been described as "having hints of sweetness and creaminess, without any of the harshness commonly associated with regular table salt". The 2007 analysis found that it contained 79.3% sodium chloride and an astounding 20.7% other ocean salts, minerals and trace elements.

Flor de Sal's richness in other salts, minerals and trace elements is due to the way it is carefully skimmed off the 'triple deposit', like skimming the cream off milk. In fact, in the olden days it was called ‘Crema de Sal’. It is the most health-giving form of this natural, unrefined, unprocessed, without additives, patiently hand-harvested salt.

Flor de sal has also been awarded the Slow Food Award and is certified by the French environmental organisation Nature et Progrès to be "free of the industrial contaminants sometimes found in mechanically harvested sea salt".

How Flor de Sal gourmet whole sea salt is produced
In gourmet whole sea salt production, seawater is concentrated in small ‘evaporation pans’, then further concentrated in small ‘crystallisation pans’. Three different substances crystallise and deposit as different concentrations of salt per litre of seawater are achieved:

  • The first deposit occurs - calcium carbonate salts (chalks) - when 70 grams of salts per litre of seawater (double the concentration of natural seawater) is reached.
  • The second deposit occurs - sodium chloride - when 170gm/litre concentration is reached.
  • The third and final deposit occurs when 280gm/litre is reached. This contains the majority of the magnesium and potassium salts, the minerals and the trace elements.

Sodium chloride can be quite toxic when too much is consumed ‘neat’. Whereas rock salt (as used in most cheap table salts) is around 98% sodium chloride, unrefined sea salt is usually around 85% sodium chloride and 15% other minerals and essential trace elements. Unfortunately, and unlike Rio Formosa salt, most gourmet sea salts have been refined, just to make them acceptably white. The refining process usually rids the sea salt of the other minerals and trace elements, rendering it as sterile and toxic as rock salt.

How commercial table salts and sea salts are produced

Table salt
Table salt is made from rock salt, which is naturally around 98-99% sodium chloride and 1-2% other salts, minerals and trace elements. It is mined violently, often using explosives, boiling water and diesel trucks, and contains little of nutritious value.

Table salt is the salt referred to in the many reseqch studies linking high salt consumption to a variety of diseases. More on salt.

Commercial sea salt
Commercial sea salt production takes place in large, industrial pans. Here the second (sodium chloride) deposit occurs later, at 250 grams of salts per litre, at which point the calcium carbonate and sodium chloride are harvested with bulldozers and the remaining seawater washed out of the pans. No attempt is made to collect the portion of sea salt essential to health - the magnesium salts, the minerals and the trace elements. After all, time is money! This is why commercial sea salt is also usually 98-99% sodium chloride (NaCl), and not as clean as hand-harvested sea salt.

After harvesting and pre-washing, the salt is stored in 'salt mountains'. Later it is washed again, force dried, rid of any organic matter and milled. Bleaching agents may be added during the washing processes. Anti-caking agents like ferrocyanide, yellow prussiate of soda, tricalcium phosphate, alumine-calcium silicate or sodium aluminosilicate are commonly added.

The Green Health Watch Research

Over the last six years, Green Health Watch Magazine has been on an intermittent quest to find the ‘best salt in the world’. After a couple of false starts we realised that the ‘best salt in the world’ would have to be a sea salt:

  • sourced from the cleanest seawater
  • dried by the sun and wind in an area with the lowest levels of air pollution
  • harvested in the least damaging way (by hand and without machinery) to ensure that as many of seawater’s 84 natural chemicals and trace elements are preserved in the final product
  • uncontaminated by additives or anti-caking agents

Read about the entire quest










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Marnoto Flor de Sal
Sea Salt


Post & packing:
1: £4, 2-3: £5, 4-6: £10 (in two boxes)

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