Why Does Popcorn Pop?

Popcorn can be credited for being one of the most lovable snacks of our times. Watching a movie without popcorn is half the fun lost. But despite of its being such a common time-pass the world over, few people know why popcorn pops. It’s not a complicated mechanism but a simple one in which the main role is played by water or moisture. Each popcorn kernel consists of a small amount of water inside it, surrounded by a soft layer of starch which is further encircled by a hard outer covering. When it is heated and attains a temperature of approximately 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which equals 232 degrees Celsius, The water inside the starchy layer gets converted to steam and starts expanding and builds up pressure against the outer hard layer. When it can no longer contain this internal pressure build-up, the kernel explodes with a sound of a pop, the moisture is depleted as the trapped steam escapes and the inner core of starch turns inside out. The tasty white sponge-like outer part of the popcorn after it pops is the same inner layer of starch. And there you go; the delicious snack is ready to be served. Of course with a “POP”.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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