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Cereal Chem. 71:458-460   |  VIEW ARTICLE

Optimum Popping Moisture Content for Popcorn Kernels of Different Sizes.

A. Song and S. R. Eckhoff. Copyright 1994 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc. 

A single variety of commercial yellow popcorn was separated into five size-fractions by screening with round-hole sieves of 4.36, 4.76, 5.16, 5.56, and 5.95 mm. Each of the five fractions and the control sample were conditioned to seven moisture content levels ranging from 11 to 14%. The conditioned samples were popped in a Cretors metric weight volume tester. The relationship between expansion volume and moisture content for each size-fraction and the control sample was described by a quadratic equation. The optimum moisture content for popcorn retained on the round-hole sieves at 5.95, 5.56, 5.16, 4.76, and 4.36 mm was determined to be 13.18, 12.91, 12.85, 13.58, and 13.47%, respectively. When the moisture content varies from the optimum value by plus/minus1%, the expansion volume could be reduced by as much as 2%. It was proposed that kernels need only to be separated into two size classes using a 5.16-mm round hole sieve: 1) the suggested moisture content for kernels passing through the sieve would be 13.5%; the suggested moisture content for kernels remaining on the sieve would be 13%.

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