Do you know how the fluffy crunchy popcorn you eat while watching movies actually crackle and fluff?
Popcorn seeds can instantly burst out of their shells and become bigger flower like popcorn. Besides the crackling sound, the kernels expand almost fifty times their size, making them fluffy and east to chew.
But the question still remains, how do the corn kernels change into a fluffy all-time snack?
Popcorn kernels are made of three integral components that are the pericarp which is the hard outer shell, the endosperm which is the middle layer, and seed embryo which is the innermost part. Water and starch is filled inside the popcorn hulls.
When we heat the popcorn kernels, the water converts into steam. The vapours create pressure inside the seeds, and as the pressure increases, the starch in the hull begins to soften. When the seeds reach a temperature of 350 degrees, the pericarp explodes, and the starch breaks the ends of the shells.
The seeds need a moisture level of close to 14 percent, and in case the water content is less than the desired level, the steam reduces, and the chances of the kernels to pop get reduced.
Popcorn is very rich in nutrients and has high concentrated levels of polyphenols which are healthy micro-nutrients found in plant food. They are also rich in anti-oxidants which protect the cells from breaking down in the body.
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