2/18/15

Master of News

a Sicence of "How Popcorn Pops"

 Two French researchers has found an exact science to know how the process of popped popcorn (before you add butter and salt)!
Popcorn is one of the world's favorite snacks. In the US, Americans consume as much as 18 billion liters of popcorn each year, which is equivalent to 56 liters per person. Some nutritionists call it a perfect snack for a grain, a good source of fiber, and low in fat. One study even claimed no more popcorn antioxidants than in some fruits and vegetables.

The most interesting part of the popcorn is the science behind how it appears. Popcorn is the only one in the family grain corn that pops open when exposed to temperatures above 180 ° C. popcorn kernel consists of 3 parts: the pericarp, germ, and endosperm.

Pericarp is a hard outer shell that surrounds the kernel of popcorn, and the key is what makes it pop. In the pericarp is a germ, or embryo seeds. Adjacent to the germ is the endosperm, which contains trapped water, plus starch granules were soft and hard that serve as food for bacteria when sprouts.

When a popcorn kernel is heated, the water is trapped in the endosperm turns to steam, building up pressure in the rind. Pressurized, super-heated steam is changing the starch in the endosperm becomes soft gelatinous material. Popcorn pericarp is much more powerful than all other corn kernels and is able to maintain this until the vapor pressure to 9.2 atm (135 psi).
 
On top of that pressure, broke the pericarp, releasing steam and starch agar solidifies on cooling. Generate kernel appears is 40 to 50 times its original size.

People often wonder what is the percentage of water in the seed ideal for popping popcorn best. Popcorn is harvested in the fall when the water content of the kernel 'is between 16 and 20%. The kernel is then stored in the bin where they are dried with forced air to reach the optimum humidity level of 14%. If the water level drops below this value, the size of the kernel appear smaller and the number of seeds that pop decreased.