• Question: Why the popcorn make pop?

    Asked by david to Colm, Eoin, Joseph, Lauren, Stephen on 17 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Joseph Roche

      Joseph Roche answered on 17 Nov 2013:

      It’s actually pretty great.

      A popcorn kernel contains a little bit of moisture stored safely inside the shell of the kernel. When you heat up the kernels this moisture gets really really hot and eventually turns into steam that pops open the kernel to escape. The starch inside is initially softened by the steam, expands and then hardens as the steam escapes, leaving us with delicious popcorn we all know and love.

      Yeah, science!

    • Photo: Eoin O Colgain

      Eoin O Colgain answered on 18 Nov 2013:

      Can’t add any more than Joe. Water inside the kernel turns into steam and the pressure causes the kernel to pop.

    • Photo: colm bracken

      colm bracken answered on 18 Nov 2013:

      I recently watched a thing on TV where a guy trapped loads of popcorn in a pressurised container and heated it up. The pressure stopped the popcorn from popping until all the kernels were ready to blow. At this point he suddenly released the pressure and there was a giant popcorn explosion. All the kernels popped together in the process described well by Joseph. It was awesome!