How Salt is Made

Vacuum Evaporation

Evaporated salt is extracted from underground deposits lying anywhere from 500 to 2,800 feet beneath the surface. Fresh water is forced down a shaft, which dissolves the salt inside the deposit. The saturated water, called brine, is pumped back up to the surface where the water is removed through a heat process in a vacuum evaporator. This process yields evaporated salt, the purest of all salts: almost 100% pure sodium chloride.

Alberger® Brand Salt

The Alberger® brand salt is produced by using a modified Grainer (open pan) evaporating process. Unlike a traditional cube-shaped salt grain, an Alberger® brand salt crystal has a unique pyramid shape. This increased surface area and low-bulk density combine to offer a measurable advantage in terms of blendability, adherence and flavor enhancement in foods.

Solar Evaporation

Solar salt is produced through the natural evaporation of sea water or other naturally occurring brine. Salt water is captured in shallow ponds and allowed to evaporate by means of the sun and wind. During the process, a salt bed forms on the bottom of the pond. The salt is harvested, washed, screened and packaged. The typical solar “crop” takes from one to five years to produce.


Working in shafts that reach miles underground, Cargill miners bring up more than seven million tons of rock salt each year. Explosives are strategically positioned and detonated to fracture the salt from the mine face. Huge pieces of salt are crushed down to a manageable size and brought to the surface, where they are screened and packaged or bulk shipped.