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How does popcorn pop?

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Popcorn, popcorn
Put it in the pot
Shake it up, shake it up
Pop. Pop! POP!

But what puts the pop in the corn?

Well, to begin with, not every type of corn will burst into the fluffy yumminess that is everyone's favourite movie snack. There are specific varieties of corn with the right kernels. You need the highest amount of starch, an ideal amount of moisture, and a hard outer hull that's just the right thickness.

If you could see inside a popcorn kernel, you would find a tiny drop of water surrounded by starch. Most plants store their energy as starch (a white, odourless, tasteless substance). When popcorn is exposed to heat, the water turns into steam and the pressure inside the kernel starts to build. And when the pressure becomes too big to be contained, the starch breaks through the hull. Watch kernels popping in slow motion in this video! They quickly cool into the form of those familiar white fluffs that are so great to snack on, plain or with toppings.

Anyway, want to hear a popcorn joke? Never mind, it's too corny.

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