Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Fleur de sel and the problem with microplastics

and why the Salinas de Janubio produce a naturally plastic-free salt

We recently took a little break in Lanzarote. It soon became clear that there is an amazing amount to discover on the northernmost island of the Canary Islands. Wines, first of all. But also cheese. And by chance we also came across a salt works in the very south of the island. Now you might think that salt is not such an outstanding product, especially not a regionally relevant topic. But especially not one that you would invest a vacation day to explore in depth. Far from it, because the Salinas de Janubio not only offer great photo opportunities, the salt flats are unique in two respects.

Salinas de Janubio – Harvesting salt like 100 years ago

Just in time for sunset, the small parking lot above the Salinas de Janubio fills up every evening. The wind turbines at the end of the salt fields are one of the most popular Instagram motifs on the island, especially as the sun paints the sky and sea a reddish hue. But the windmills are much more than that: originally, five of these windmills were used to irrigate the salt fields. With the help of wind power, the water was pumped out of the bay and transferred to a complex canal system from which the various plots are irrigated as required. Modern electric pumps are currently used instead of wind turbines. However, as soon as all the wind turbines have been rebuilt, this step will also be carried out as it was 100 years ago. This is currently the only modern change. Everything else has been handled completely traditionally since the reopening of the salt works.

How do microplastics get into fleur de sel?

Unfortunately – and this is a major problem – this cannot be avoided. Especially in fleur de sel, which floats on the highly salty water, microplastics are automatically mixed into the delicate flakes, sometimes in high concentrations. Producers deal with this in different ways. Either they leave the particles in the salt (which unfortunately leads to poor, sometimes alarming test results) or they use chemicals to dissolve or remove the plastic. However, the use of chemicals causes the salt to lose its all-important iodine. A study by Foodwatch found that fleur de sel from the island of Ibiza is contaminated with up to 5,400 microplastic particles per kilogram.

Why is the fleur de sel from Salinas de Janubio free from microplastics?

One of the last volcanic eruptions on Lanzarote created a large lagoon on the southern coast. The natural barrier is meters high and separates the bay from the sea. The seawater can only be forced through the porous volcanic rock by the pressure of the waves. The stone acts as a natural filter. All unwanted particles, especially microplastics, remain in the filter. This unique natural phenomenon ensures that the seawater is already in its natural “original state” when salt extraction begins. This means that there is no need to intervene after the fleur de sel has been extracted and you can harvest plastic-free fleur de sel.

As long as we have to deal with this pollution in the world’s oceans, these pleasing and natural special cases are particularly relevant. Of course, it is more than desirable for all salt pans to have the same starting conditions again in the future. In the current situation, however, it is good to know that there are producers like Salinas de Janubio. Unfortunately, I am not currently aware of any importer who offers this product here on the market. That leaves the day trip directly to the Salinas, if you happen to be in Lanzarote anyway.

What makes a trip to the Salinas de Janubio particularly practical is the fact that the beautiful Mirador de las Salinas restaurant is located in the hills directly above the salt pans. Not only is the view over the lagoon and the sea impressive, the cuisine is also definitely worth a visit. Plus one of the best wine lists on the island, with wines from our favorite winemakers on the island – and at very consumer-friendly prices!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New Michelin stars for Vilnius and Lithuania

New Michelin stars for Vilnius and Lithuania

SOMM celebrates the 30 best sommeliers in Germany

SOMM celebrates the 30 best sommeliers in Germany

You May Also Like