The Popcorn Process

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Information about The Popcorn Process

Published on February 7, 2008

Author: Marco1


The Popcorn Process: The Popcorn Process Kelley Hughes Popcorn FACTS: PopcornFACTS Americans today consume 17.3 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year. The average American eats about 68 quarts per year. Americans consume more popcorn than the citizens of any other country. Popcorn, also known to experts as zea mays everta, is one of six types of corn. It's the only type of corn that pops. January 30th is National Popcorn Day! Popcorn History: PopcornHistory Oldest popcorn discover in New Mexico, USA: 5,600 years old Native Americans grew hundreds of varieties,invented “poppers”, and wore as decoration Was served as the 1st Thanksgiving Colonial settlers used as “puffed” cereal for breakfast Popular during the depression and WWII due to its low cost Important elements of popcorn: Important elements of popcorn The hard shell (pericarp) Moisture inside pericarp Starch inside pericarp How popcorn “works”: How popcorn “works” When popcorn is heated, the moisture inside causes the pericarp to burst The starch expands into “bubbles” which fuse together, creating the white, fluffy substance This process will only occur if the correct amount of moisture is present Types of Popcorn: Types of Popcorn Two main Types of Popcorn Kernels -butterfly: large, light, and fluffy -mushroom: used for coating Growing popcorn: Growing popcorn Popcorn is planted between April 20th and May 10th A soil temperature of 10-13°C (50-55°F) is necessary Harvesting Popcorn : Harvesting Popcorn Popcorn is harvested when the kernel has moisture content of 16%-20%. Popcorn that is too dry may not pop well Popcorn that is too moist may spoil when stored Summary : Summary Harvest Conditioning Moisture Processing Screen Cleaning Gravity Table Destoner Optical Sorter Packaging Shipping Coated Popped Bulk or Microwave popcorn Flavored Popcorn Cooled Dirt and Debris Storing Popcorn: Storing Popcorn Storing is also know as “conditioning” Once picked, the corn must be dried until it reaches its optimum moisture level of 13.5% to 14% Methods used for “conditioning” are a significant contributing factor in the quality of the popcorn Effects of “conditioning”: Effects of “conditioning” Seed Coat Integrity Appearance of the popcorn for customer satisfaction Maximum expansion potential Removing Moisture: Removing Moisture Several different methods can be used to remove moisture from popcorn during “conditioning” Examples: Natural Air-Drying Natural Air-Drying with supplemental heat Natural Air Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) window Stirring Cleaning popcorn: Cleaning popcorn Foreign material, broken kernels, corncobs, and dirt must be removed Cleaning process consists mainly of three parts: separating by size Separating by lower/higher densities optical sorting Processing popcorn-step 1: Processing popcorn-step 1 Separating by Size -Industry Example: Screen Cleaner 2 screens: 1 large holes & 1 small holes Removes material larger and smaller than popcorn kernels Processing popcorn-step 2: Processing popcorn-step 2 Separating by lower/higher densities Industry Example: Gravity Table & De-stoner Gravity Table: removes less dense objects i.e. broken, cracked, and immature kernels De-stoner: removes very dense objects from the corn i.e. stones, clumps of dirt, and small pieces of metal Processing popcorn-step 3: Processing popcorn-step 3 Optical Sorting Industry Example: Optical Color Sorter Uses high-resolution optics to inspect all kernels packaging Bulk and Microwave Popcorn: packaging Bulk and Microwave Popcorn Must be packaged so that popcorn remains at the optimum moisture level Plastic is commonly used Flavored Popcorn: Flavored Popcorn After being cleaned, popcorn is popped While hot, flavors are added in a large tumbling devise to coat the popcorn The coated popcorn is cooled The popcorn is then packaged and shipped Caramel Popcorn: Caramel Popcorn Caramel is the most popular flavor used to coat popcorn Enjoying Popcorn: Enjoying Popcorn Can be used an ingredient in pudding, candy, soup, salad and entrees Sold at cinemas, sporting events, ect. Can be eaten with hands or with a Popcorn Fork with a built-in salt shaker

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