Did You Know – Popcorn

Did you ever wonder if the kernels from corn they feed to cows or sweet corn will pop? Don’t bother trying because they won’t. A kernel of popcorn is different from other corn because popcorn kernels contains a water droplet inside a circle of soft starch then it is surrounded by the kernel’s hard outer surface.

Popcorn kernels need to maintain a certain level of moisture in order to pop. As the kernel heats up, the water expands, building pressure against the starch and hard surface.

Eventually, this outer layer gives way, causing the popcorn to explode, turning the kernel inside out and giving us a tasty treat.

Source: http://www.nal.usda.gov

Picture: http://www.Pixabay.com


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  1. I knew there needed to be a level of moisture maintained, but I didn’t know why. I also had never thought about the other types of corn kernels. Good information!

  2. You dashed my beliefs (though incorrect) about popcorn. BTW I found out you can burn popcorn in an airpoper just like a microwave.

    • I didn’t know that! We live in the country and one year a farmer planted popcorn. After he cut it down I walked the side of the field and picked up a few cobs on the ground. It was such a great learning experience showing my grandkids where popcorn comes from and then popping it.

  3. You make me think way back now: When we were children, my brother and I used to make popcorn in my mother’s kitchen on a Saturday afternoon. And then there was always that one moment when my brother lifted the pot’s lid (yes, we still made it on the stove), which mad the popcorn “popped” high into the air! We always had a good laugh … while my mother stood in the doorway, hands on her hips 😄.

  4. Popcorn is fascinating, isn’t it? That’s quite a bit of explosive potential in each kernel, when you think about it – how something so small could explode into something so large. And delicious.

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