Bottled Water, Salt, and Nigari
The Deep Sea Water Development Company's facility in the Hiyajo area focuses on producing salt and bottled mineral water from the Deep Sea Water obtained at the Deep Sea Water Research Institute.
One of the unique aspects of Deep Sea Water is the abundance of natur al minerals due to the higher density of the water due to the increased pressure at the depth. Also, there are less plankton, bacteria, and fish due to the lack of sunlight. The company desalinizes the water and then returns the extracted minerals to the water in specially formulated concentrations. Currently, the sell the water with hardness (amount of minerals per measure) levels of 150, 250, and 1000.
Take a look at the production facility in the video below.
Salt and Nigari
Salt is a critical component of food and in Japan sea salt reigns king. Though there are a variety of sources for salt, deep sea water provides a clean, mineral rich, resource for the production of salt and bittern. On Kume Island, the Deep Sea Water Development Company evaporates Deep Sea Water until mostly dry. Excess moisture is extracted via a washing technique. This excess moisutre has a high sodium and mineral content, which can be saved and further reduced into Nigari (bittern).
Nigari has long been used in Japan as a supplement. Adding it to drinks or water provides a source of minerals for the body. Bittern is also used in the production of tofu. Since quality tofu requires specific levels of hardness, the company can createlarge quantities of custom nigari for their customer's needs.
The salt is further dried before packaging. Both salt and nigari can be purchased at many stores around Okinawa and Kume Island. You can find all of the Development Company's products at the Deep Sea Water Tourism Center as well. Below is a look at the production process.