Hi all! Popcorn has long been related to watching movies. Everyone is aware that popcorn is just roasted corn kernels that expand on the inside. When heated, certain other cereals may also expand a little, but they are not popped. Why? It’s all physics, really!. Let’s move on now.
Let’s begin by stating the obvious. The word “popcorn” is translated as “corn” from the word “korn.” Different types of corn exist, and in this instance, we’re referring about “bursting corn,” also known by the scientific name Zea mays everta. This type of maize has hard outer shells that encase clusters of starch, proteins, and water inside each grain.
The chemical process behind making popcorn
The carbohydrates and protein in the grains become a squishy slime when cooked. All of this water simultaneously condenses into steam and starts to expand, but is unable to escape due to the outer shell’s solidity. Instead, the steam creates bubbles in the viscous mixture of starch and proteins, applying pressure to the grain from within.
This continues until the outer casing is under about ten times the atmospheric pressure of Earth at sea level and the inside temperature reaches around 180 degrees Celsius. The body can no longer contain it all at this point, and an explosion takes place. When pressure that has built up inside the grain is released, the grain expands very quickly until the pressure inside the grain and the pressure outside it are equal.
The grain swiftly cools after that and transforms into fluffy popcorn. Typically, fully formed popcorn flakes form 90 milliseconds after the shell splits. The enjoyable part is now.
Can any grain other than corn be popped?
Popcorn’s anatomy is not particularly unusual. Other grains that have hard shells and similar starchy interiors include rice, quinoa, and amaranth. These grains can also technically pop.
The grain swiftly cools after that, becoming fluffy popcorn. Typically, the formation of fully formed popcorn flakes occurs 90 milliseconds after the shell splits. Finally, the enjoyable part. Popcorn has a somewhat common anatomy. Even though they don’t literally explode, several grains, like rice, quinoa, and amaranth, do have similar starchy inside and tough exteriors.
It was discovered that as soon as the core splits, a tiny “leg” emerges from it. This leg is rejected from the frying surface and causes the popcorn to rise a few centimeters. Such are the wonders! And while other cereals are useful, only corn can be used to make true popcorn. What about popcorn? Comment with whatever you have to say about it. We’ll talk soon.
About the Author
The author is a technical fellow who loves innovations like writing, photography etc. Manish is also a cyber analyst who has given services in many places. You can follow them on social media.
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