How Does Popcorn Pop?


A kernel of popcorn contains a certain amount of moisture in its starchy endosperm, and when the kernel is heated past boiling point, marine in the kernel begins to steam, and generates an internal pressure of nearly 9 atm. In the tightly sealed popcorn kernel, the steam is held tight by the pericarp. Pressure in the begins to start build until the pericap ruptures, cause a small explosion.

The force of the explosion causes the kernel to turn inside out, and because the moisture is evenly distributed throughout the starchy endosperm, the sudden expansion turns the endosperm into an airy foam. This gives the popcorn its unique texture.

The average popping warmth for popcorn is around 175 degrees celcius. Special varieties of corn are grown to give superior popping yield.

Popcorn ears dating back 5,600 years were discovered within bat caves in New Mexico by Native Americans in 1948.

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