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Thread: Experts Solve Mystery of Unpopped Popcorn

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    ziggyjuarez's Avatar Poster
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    INDIANAPOLIS - Eat your way to the bottom of almost any bag of popcorn and there they are: the rock-hard, jaw-rattling unpopped kernels known as old maids. The nuisance kernels have kept many a dentist busy, but their days could be numbered: Scientists say they now know why some popcorn kernels resist popping into puffy white globes.





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    It's long been known that popcorn kernels must have a precise moisture level in their starchy center about 15 percent to explode. But Purdue University researchers found the key to a kernel's explosive success lies in the composition of its hull.


    It turns out there is an optimal hull structure that allows kernels to explode, and leaky hulls prevent the moisture pressure buildup needed for kernels to pop.


    "They're sort of like little pressure vessels that explode when the pressure reaches a certain point," said Bruce Hamaker, a Purdue professor of food chemistry. "But if too much moisture escapes, it loses its ability to pop and just sits there."


    He and his associates compared the microwave popping performance of 14 Indiana-grown popcorn varieties and examined the crystalline structure of the translucent hulls of both the popped kernels and the duds.


    In the varieties popped, the percentage of unpopped kernels ranged from 4 percent in premium brands to 47 percent in the cheaper ones.


    The findings could be good news for people who savor the snack and those who grow the 17 billion quarts of popcorn sold each year in the United States.


    Wendy Boersema Rappel, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based Popcorn Board, said popcorn processors are always looking for ways to improve their product, including reducing the number of old maids.


    "It's one of life's annoyances it's not rocking anyone's world, but our members always like to improve their product," Rappel said.


    Hamaker said two popcorn manufacturers have already expressed interest in Purdue's findings.


    The research, funded by Purdue's Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, which Hamaker directs, has been published online and will appear in the July 11 edition of the journal BioMacromolecules.
    its so cool

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    manker's Avatar effendi
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    Fascinating.

    I say that with as much sincerity as Tuvak does when conversing with Neelix.
    I plan on beating him to death with his kids. I'll use them as a bludgeon on his face. -

    --Good for them if they survive.

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    GepperRankins's Avatar we want your oil!
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    but what are they doing about it?

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    ziggyjuarez's Avatar Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by GepperRankins
    but what are they doing about it?
    scientist never do anything to nothing thats why we only ever cured one virus

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    GepperRankins's Avatar we want your oil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggyjuarez
    scientist never do anything to nothing thats why we only ever cured one virus
    you been watching the god channel?

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    ziggyjuarez's Avatar Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by GepperRankins
    you been watching the god channel?
    That channel scares me people are crazy on that channel

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    Quote Originally Posted by manker
    I say that with as much sincerity as Tuvak does when conversing with Neelix.
    STFU

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    Quote Originally Posted by GepperRankins
    but what are they doing about it?
    So brutal and straightfoward...

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    GepperRankins's Avatar we want your oil!
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    maybe theres a resin they could use or something

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    Gripper's Avatar Dexter's Apprentice.
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    We dont have that problem in the UK so much as I dont think we're much in the way of popcorn munchers over here,the ones we get are usually prepopped as oppossed to doing them ourselves

    All spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in my post's are intentional.

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