Effect of kernel size, location, and type of damage on popping characteristics of popcorn

V. Singh, N. L. Barreiro, J. McKinstry, P. Buriak, S. R. Eckhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Popping characteristics, specifically expansion volume and popping time, were studied for damaged popcorn. A single variety of commercial undamaged yellow popcorn was separated into four size fractions (D < 436, 4.36 < D < 5.16, 5.16 < D < 5.95, and D > 5.95 mm) by screening with round-hole sieves. Kernels were damaged using a razor knife by either slicing a 2-mm diameter piece of the endosperm or the germ or by cutting through the pericarp and seed coat into the endosperm or the germ ≃2 mm. A total of five combinations of location and damage were studied (tip cap removed, side cut, side sliced, germ cut, and germ sliced) for each kernel size. A control sample with no damage was also analyzed for each size fraction. All of the damaged kernels (regardless of type of damage) popped, but they had expansion volumes 9.1-47.5% smaller than those of undamaged kernels. The expansion volume of damaged kernels increased by 52.5-85.7%, depending on the damage, when the size of the kernel increased from <4.36 mm to >5.95 mm. Removing the tip cap and slicing through the germ caused less loss of expansion volume than did other types of damage. Damaged popcorn kernels had faster popping times (12.2-24.0 sec) than did undamaged kernels (30.9-34.6 see). Popping times increased with increasing kernel size for all types of damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-675
Number of pages4
JournalCereal Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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