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Exploring the goodness of Sri Lankan natural sea salt and lagoon salt



Dr Ajith Shanmuganathan

By Dr Ajith Shanmuganathan

Salt has played a significant role throughout human history, enhancing the flavour of countless dishes. In recent times, natural sea salt and lagoon salt have gained popularity due to their unique characteristics and potential health benefits. This article aims to explore the goodness of these natural salts, highlighting their origins, extraction methods, mineral composition, and advantages for human consumption. By understanding the qualities and properties of sea salt and lagoon salt, individuals can make informed decisions about incorporating these natural salts into their diets.

The history of salt in Sri Lanka dates back thousands of years, with salt playing a significant role in the country’s culture, economy, and culinary traditions. The island’s geographical location, surrounded by the Indian Ocean, provided ample salt production and trade opportunities. Early records indicate that salt production in Sri Lanka can be traced back to ancient times.

The ancient chronicle, the Mahavamsa, mentions salt pans’ existence during King Pandukabhaya’s reign (4th century BCE). These salt pans, known as “Ussangoda,” were located in the Hambantota district and were a vital source of salt for the local population. Salt production expanded significantly during the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods (3rd century BCE – 13th century CE). Salt was primarily produced in shallow brine pools, where seawater was allowed to evaporate, leaving behind salt crystals. These pools, known as “Lunama,” were constructed along the coastline and in the interior regions near saltwater lagoons. The salt produced was primarily used for domestic consumption, preservation of food, and trade. Salt played a crucial role in the Sri Lankan economy during the medieval period. It was a valuable commodity subject to taxation and regulation by the ruling kings. In the 16th century, with the arrival of European colonial powers, the salt industry in Sri Lanka underwent significant changes. The Portuguese, Dutch, and British introduced new techniques and technologies in salt production. They constructed salt pans and introduced more efficient evaporation methods. The British, in particular, played a pivotal role in modernizing salt production and expanding its scale. They established large-scale saltworks in coastal areas, including Kalpitiya, Puttalam, and Hambantota, to cater to the growing demand. In the modern era, the salt industry in Sri Lanka has evolved further.

Today, salt production is primarily carried out through solar evaporation methods. Seawater is channelled into shallow pans or reservoirs and allowed to evaporate naturally under the sun’s heat. The remaining salt crystals are collected, washed, and processed for distribution. Salt production in Sri Lanka is concentrated in coastal areas and saltwater lagoons, including Hambantota, Puttalam, Kalpitiya, Mannar, and Trincomalee. These regions benefit from their proximity to the sea, allowing for salt extraction through solar evaporation methods.

Originating from the evaporation of seawater, natural sea salt is produced by collecting seawater in shallow pools and allowing it to evaporate under controlled conditions. This process ensures the retention of essential minerals and trace elements. Sea salt boasts many minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, and iodine. These minerals are vital in maintaining electrolyte balance, supporting nerve function, and contributing to overall health and well-being. Consuming natural sea salt in moderation may offer potential health benefits, such as improved hydration, digestion, immune function, blood pressure regulation, respiratory health, and skin conditions. Lagoon salt, also known as salt flats or pans, is harvested from inland saltwater lagoons. These lagoons form when seawater enters shallow depressions and evaporates, leaving salt deposits behind. Lagoon salt is manually or mechanically collected from these salt flats. It is characterized by its high mineral content, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The specific mineral composition may vary depending on the geographical location and local conditions. Like sea salt, lagoon salt offers potential health benefits, such as supporting electrolyte balance, aiding muscle function, contributing to bone health, regulating blood sugar levels, and keeping a healthy cardiovascular system.

Natural sea salt and lagoon salt possess distinct characteristics. Sea salt is renowned for its briny flavour and coarse texture, making it ideal for finishing dishes. In contrast, lagoon salt often exhibits a milder taste and finer texture, which lends itself well to seasoning during cooking. Both salts serve as flavour enhancers in cooking and baking, offering versatility in various culinary applications. When selecting natural salts, it is crucial to prioritize sustainability and purity. Choosing salts harvested responsibly and free from additives or contaminants ensures the highest quality product. Incorporating natural sea salt into your culinary endeavours enhances your dishes’ flavours and offers potential health benefits through its rich mineral content. Embrace the goodness of these natural salts and savour the depth of flavour they bring to your meals.

(The writer is a Chartered Engineer and Consultant in business administration & Engineering and a Volunteer of IMechE and IET)

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Opposition law makers’ critical comments check CSE’s morning momentum



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

The stock market yesterday kicked- off on a positive note during the first session but the momentum did not sustain due to opposition law makers’ negative remarks on the current negotiation process with external creditors, market analysts said.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe had discussed debt restructuring and economic reforms with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, a President’s media division statement said.

“In their discussion, they focused on the ongoing reforms in the financial sector and the significant advancements in debt restructuring efforts, the statement said.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 71.76 points while the S and P SL20 declined by 14 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.19 billion with four crossings.

Those crossings were reported in Windforce, which crossed 11 million shares to the tune of Rs 209 million; its shares traded at Rs 90, RIL Properties 20 million shares crossed for Rs 130 million and its shares traded at Rs 6.50, Hayleys Fabrics 500,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 23.1 million and its shares fetched Rs 46.20 and Laugfs 630,000 shares crossed for Rs 22 million; its shares traded at Rs 35.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 180 million (970,000 shares traded), CIC Holdings Rs 51.5 million (686,000 shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 47.6 million (415,000 shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 37.4 million (491,000 shares traded), HNB Rs 35.6 million (210,000 shares traded), Aitken Spence Hotels Rs 32.8 million (411,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Capital Rs 23.3 million (1.9 million shares traded). During the day 61.4 million share value changed hands in 9000 transactions.

Yesterday, the rupee opened at Rs 325/15 to the US dollar after closing the previous day at Rs 324.75/325.00 to the US dollar, dealers said.

Bond yields were up. A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 was quoted up at 14.80/15.20 percent from 14.50/70.A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 was quoted up at 14.60/15.20 percent from 14.35/50 percent. A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 was quoted up at 14.10/50 from 13.70/14.00 percent.

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Robocash Sri Lanka’s ESG commitment shines on International Coastal Cleanup Day at Dehiwala Beach



Robocash Team at Dehiwala Beach - Robocash EcoSplash: Beach Cleanup and Beyond

Robocash Sri Lanka marked International Coastal Cleanup Day by furthering its “Robocash EcoSplash: Beach Cleanup and Beyond” initiative, which took place on September 17th, at Dehiwala Beach, Sri Lanka.

This environmentally-conscious initiative was a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability, community engagement, and responsible corporate citizenship, all of which are in alignment with the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) principles.

ESG gained significant prominence in recent years as a guiding framework for responsible investment. It takes into account a company’s environmental impact, social responsibility, and governance practices, aligning them with the broader goals of sustainability and societal well-being. Robocash Sri Lanka recognizes the critical importance of ESG values in today’s world and is dedicated to integrating them into its operations and initiatives.

The “Robocash EcoSplash: Beach Cleanup and Beyond” program was a collaborative effort with the company’s internal team, showcasing the dedication of Robocash Sri Lanka’s employees to make a positive impact on their local environment and community.

Konstantin Bereutsyn, Country Manager of Robocash Sri Lanka, addressed the team at the event, saying, “Our commitment to environmental sustainability and community engagement goes beyond business as usual. We believe that being a responsible corporate citizen involves actively participating in initiatives that benefit society and the environment. This beach cleanup event is just one of the many ways we intend to contribute to a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for Sri Lanka.”

The program ensured that all necessary permits and permissions for the beach-cleaning activity were obtained, and strict adherence to government health guidelines was maintained throughout the event to prioritize the safety and well-being of all participants.

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Ceylinco Life opens up the world once again for policyholders with ‘Family Savari 17’



Screen visuals from the virtual launch of Ceylinco Life’s ‘Family Savari 17’ promotion.

The world is opening up once again for Ceylinco Life policyholders with the return of overseas holidays for the family as the main loyalty reward under the life insurance market leader’s ‘Family Savari’ mega promotion, the largest initiative of its kind in the local life insurance sector.

The 17th edition of Family Savari announced this week will provide overseas holidays for 15 policyholder families in 2024 – to Türkiye for five families and to Malaysia for another 10 families – reverting to the original theme of the promotion.

Another 250 policyholder families comprising of 1,000 people will get to spend a fun-filled day at the Pearl Bay Water Park at Bandaragama, a new location for the local segment of the Family Savari.

“The Family Savari promotion has always been about the importance of quality family time and creating memories of a lifetime for our policyholders and their loved ones,” Ceylinco Life’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer Mr Samitha Hemachandra said. “Unfortunately, the pandemic made overseas travel inadvisable, but we are now delighted to be able to reward our loyal policyholders and their families with holidays to some of the world’s most popular destinations.”

With the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Ceylinco Life’s Family Savari opted to reward winners initially with gold instead of the overseas holidays and local excursions, and subsequently with cash rewards to the full value of the prize purse, and thereafter with family vacations in leading local hotels as health concerns began to ease.

At this year’s Family Savari promotion, a total of 265 policyholders will be selected at two draws that will take place in November 2023 and January 2024 to reward them and their family members, numbering 1,060 people in all, for their loyalty to Ceylinco Life. The mega promotion has to date rewarded more than 35,000 people in this manner.

To be eligible to win overseas holidays or the local excursion at the Family Savari draws, Ceylinco Life policyholders are simply required to continue their existing policies with the Company or maintain a minimum account balance in their retirement plans during the promotion period, 1st September to 31st December 2023.

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