Better popping potential for popcorn

Emily Matzke, American Society of Agronomy

When it comes to popcorn, consumers want a seed-to-snack treat that leaves more snacks than seeds when popped. This means when they pop the corn, there shouldn’t be many unpopped kernels left in the bowl.

Maria Fernanda Maioli set out to determine the properties affecting popping expansion in popcorn. The team’s research was recently published in Agronomy Journal, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy.

“The way kernels expand is a basic, yet very important characteristic of popcorn,” says Fernanda Maioli. This is referred to as “expansion ratio.”

The major factors that influence popcorn quality are kernel moisture, expansion ratios, and popping ratios. Higher quality popcorn is associated with kernels that expand more. This popped corn has a better texture and softness.

Understanding which popcorn traits are related to the expansion capacity will help future researchers identify and breed high quality popcorn. Researchers will not need to spend time and money to look at other unrelated characteristics.

The team hopes they can identify relationships between other key traits. Future research will continue to improve the tasty, buttery snack.

> Source: PHYS.ORG