<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\07527298994\46blogName\75Tell+Me+Why?\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_HOSTED\46navbarType\75BLUE\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://www.tellmewhyfacts.com/search\46blogLocale\75en_US\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://www.tellmewhyfacts.com/\46vt\75-7183947015892630835', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Tell Me Why logo by tellmewhyfacts.com

Tell Me Why?

Tell Me Why by tellmewhyfacts.blogspot.com

An informative site covering interesting and factual topics with concise answers to pondering questions. Tap into the collective wisdom of factual knowledge designed to educate all knowledge seekers. Tell Me Why: Answer your Questions and Satisfy your Curiosity. New content is published once each week.

The Web Tell Me Why?



Free Stuff | How To Use Site | ”" Top News Videos

Why Does Popcorn Pop?


E-mail this post



Remember me (?)



All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of Blogger.com. More...



A popcorn kernel is a cereal grain (seed). It is made up of four major physical structures: (1) The Pericarp (seed coat or outer hull): a hard outer thin covering. (2) The Endosperm: starchy part that forms the bulk of the kernel and consists almost entirely of starch along with smaller amounts of protein, fat, minerals and water. This water plays an important role in the popping process of popcorn. (3) The Germ (embryo): The rudimentary (partially developed) plantlet within the seed. This is the structure that develops and grows into a new plant when it is planted. (4) Tip Cap: the part where the kernel joins (attaches to) the cob.

When the kernel is heated (to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit) the small amount of water (13-14%) stored inside the starchy endosperm turns into vapor (steam) causing it to expand (about 40 or 50 times its original size). As the water (steam) expands it puts pressure against the hard starch in the endosperm causing it to become inflated. Eventually, this causes the pericarp of the kernel to give way (to the pressure from the built up steam) causing it to explode (pop) as it flips inside out allowing the steam to escape and expose the soft white fluffy starch known as popcorn.

However, in order for popcorn to pop successfully, there must be certain ideal factors:

  1. The amount of moisture (water) in the kernel must be between 13 to 14 percent. Although popcorn are usually harvested when the moisture content is between 16-19% (by mass), they are carefully cured or dried until the ideal moisture content is reached. Too little moisture and there would not be enough steam to carry out the popping process and if there is too much moisture, the popcorn will crack prematurely exposing a dense sphere with the starch not properly cooked rather than the ideal soft white fluffy popcorn.

  2. The pericarp of the kernel must have high mechanical strength. That is, it must be very strong (tough). This is necessary to withstand (retain) the steam pressure buildup until it reaches the ideal pressure where the starch is cooked and it is strong enough to burst the strong pericarp wall of the kernel at the right time exposing the soft, white and fluffy popcorn.

  3. The pericarp must not contain any cracks or any damage. If it does, then the steam will escape when it is heated preventing the build up of steam pressure that is needed to burst the pericarp of the kernel properly.

  4. The temperature must be above 300 degrees F for the popcorn to pop. Popcorn has to be at a certain temperature (about 400 degrees F) so that it is possible for the steam pressure inside the kernel to buildup to the point where starch is properly cooked and it can pop (burst) the strong outer casing (pericarp) of the kernel.

Labels: ,


1 Responses to “Why Does Popcorn Pop?”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Thanks! Very informative!

Leave a Reply

      Convert to boldConvert to italicConvert to link

 


Headline | Using Site | MyGame


Message Board Tell Me Why FeedBack Appreciated

Please spare some time to give your feedback about this site. Thanks in advance.
Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why
Message from the Author
  • I'm R. Edmondson
  • From United States
I am excited to be the author of this site that gives me the opportunity and challenge to answer questions of the intellectual mind. As such, Tell Me Why site is used as a learning tool to provide a stimulating learning environment for general knowledge development; to promote increased diversity on the online learning community and to incorporate the site’s informative quality content with the best of online communication platform (blog) in making knowledge accessible and free to all.

Thanks for stopping by my site. I hope you will find this site interesting and informative and that you do learn something before you leave here.

Please take the time to drop me a few lines and do come again.

Thanks for the support
Tell Me Why

Last Questions Answered

Tell Me Why
Tell Me Why Previous Post

Archives of Knowledge

Tell Me Why
Educational Sites
Tell Me Why Subscribe To Tell Me Why:

Click The [+] To Subscribe []
MultiRSS Google Reader or Homepage del.icio.us Did You Know? Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe with Bloglines Add to My AOL Feed Your Feeds Kinja Digest
Tell Me Why
Click The [+] Button To View
Site Awards & Recognition []
Tell Me Why featured on News4
March 19, 2007 ------------------------------------ Best New Blog 2006 Winner
Category: Best New Blog 2006 ------------------------------------
November 8, 2007 ------------------------------------ 1190 kex News Radio
November 15, 2007 ------------------------------------ KYW 1060
------------------------------------ Canadian Web Award ------------------------------------
This Site Is Approved By: []
Science News Of Interest []

Tell Me Why

Powered by Blogger Creative Commons License

Tell Me Why
BlogAdvance Top Blogs
Tell Me Why


 
© 2005 - 2009 by R. Edmondson - Tellmewhyfacts.com (Tell Me Why). All Rights Reserved.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
About Site | Copyright Information | Disclaimer | FAQ | Link To Us | Privacy Policy | Make $$$$ | Free Tools