The HK Difference

Hawaii Kai Corporation

For centuries, Hawaiians on the tiny island of Molokai have harvested salt from her clean, clear waters. The ancient art and craft of making sea salt has remained essentially unchanged...until Hawaii Kai invented “Solar Seal.”

In 2003, Kent Clampitt, a visionary entrepreneur and engineer, was vacationing on Molokai with his wife Peggy, and they experienced first-hand the outstanding taste and purity of the superlative sea salts harvested on the bucolic island. So began a fascinating journey of research, discovery, and innovation.

Commercial table salt, and, indeed, most gourmet salts, contain approximately 99% sodium chloride. But the salt on Molokai didn’t taste like any other sea salt. It was richer, more complex, less biting. By having a scientific analysis performed on the Molokai salt harvested by traditional methods, Kent determined that it contained only 81% sodium chloride. The remaining 19% was comprised of more than 80 natural elements, electrolytes, and trace minerals that imparted the salt’s exceptional taste qualities.

Research evolved into a vision: to create a new, high-tech company able to produce the world’s finest gourmet sea salts in commercial quantities, while also laying the foundation of a unique, micro-economic business model for Molokai residents.

In the Hawaiian language, “kai” means “ocean,” the source of life, so the fledgling company was named Hawaii Kai—with a mission to produce an incomparable suite of ocean-based products, and bring to the world the essence of the source.

Hawaii Kai Corporation

The age-old problems inherent in the making of sea salt.

Workers rake dried salt from open air beds

Workers rake dried salt from open-air beds.

Ocean water evaporated in the open air…a fine way to make sea salt—assuming the water and air are free from pollution. Unfortunately, that’s hardly the case, which points to the dilemma faced by modern salt makers.

It takes many weeks to evaporate large quantities of ocean water, which itself is laden with organic and man-made pollutants. During the drying period, the water is exposed to additional pollutants—dust, ash, pollen, bird droppings, insects, even acid rain—falling into the crystallizing salt. Additional pollutants occur when the salt is mass-harvested by human workers.

To purify this air-dried salt, it must be boiled and refined, a process that destroys all the essential trace minerals, leaving only sodium chloride. Alternatively, if the salt is not boiled and refined, the consumer has to accept the water-borne and air-borne pollutants that inevitably end up in “gourmet” salt.

Enter “Solar Seal”—the ideal marriage of Molokai’s pristine waters and Hawaii Kai’s exclusive technology. Finally, the art and science of making gourmet salt...perfected.

Hawaii Kai’s secret to making the world’s purest, best-tasting, and most nutritionally complete gourmet sea salts?

First, we established our proprietary “Solar Seal” system in our own salt farms built on the tranquil and unspoiled Hawaiian island of Molokai.

Second, we staffed our salt farms with highly trained local Molokai residents, who watch over the exacting “Solar Seal” process with patience, care, and expertise gained from twenty years of Hawaii Kai’s presence on their island.

And third, the closed-matrix “Solar Seal” system prevents the introduction of any impurities throughout the lengthy dehydration time:

• The Solar Seal process starts with Molokai sea water—tested to be as clean as any on earth. We then purify it via an array of progressively finer filters to FDA bottled-water standards.

• This concentrated “Source Water” is fed into our extensive, inter-linked arrays of Solar Seal Evaporators—food-grade pans with tightly sealed glass tops—for final evaporation and eventual harvest.

• The result is Soul of the Sea®— snow white “whole salt” of incomparable purity and flavor, undamaged from super-heating, in an ideal pH balance of 9.37. Soul of the Sea® contains just 81% sodium chloride, with the remaining 19% comprised of 80+ naturally occurring trace minerals, electrolytes, and flavor elements.

Soul of the Sea®—unquestionably the world’s fnest, and most expensive, gourmet sea salt—is the basis of all Hawaii Kai sea-salt products.


Top: One of Hawaii Kai’s “Solar Seal” salt farms on Molokai. Middle: Katadyn LB-2800 Reverse Osmosis system. Bottom: Multiple filtrations purify clean Molokai sea water to FDA bottled-water standards before it’s pumped into “Solar Seal”  food-grade pans.