Characteristics of a quality popcorn and how to store it correctly
Updated: Aug 13
Popcorn is one of the seeds that is mostly intended for human consumption. Due to its nutritional value, it is considered a healthy food. It is prepared industrially for cooking in the microwave or the seed is used directly in a container with hot oil so that it bursts and takes its particular fluffy shape.
The particularity of this cereal is that it inflates when it takes temperature, breaking its shell and acquiring a white fluffy shape. Depending on the type of grain, it expands irregularly or takes a uniform rounded shape.
Characteristics of popcorn
There are two main varieties of popcorn, according to the shape it takes when expanded. One of them is the butterfly, which explodes taking an irregular shape. While the mushroom takes a rounded shape when it explodes at high temperature.
This explosion is due to the overheating of the internal humidity of the grain. Seeds come in two main colors, yellow and orange. Although the most popular is yellow.
It differs from the common corn kernel by having a more rounded shape and a smaller size.
Uses of popcorn
Who hasn't savored some popcorn while enjoying a movie or theater show? Definitely human consumption in the form of a snack is the main use of popcorn. For its commercial sale, grains that have a good texture and shine when exploding are sought.
But the smaller grains with little expansion are also used as pigeon feed. They have a high nutritional value for birds, so they can be administered alone or as part of a mix of seeds.
The quality of a popcorn seed is measured by its size and the size of the popcorn when it expands. But we also find other measurements that are interesting to estimate the quality of the product. Among them is the amount of humidity, percentage of explosion and others.
It is called a grain size gauge and is indicated with K / 10. This denomination expresses the amount of grains that enter 10 grams. This counting of grains is made with precision scales, the smaller this measurement is, the larger the grain. The quality standard is 65 to 70k / 10.
The expansion measure is the volume that the grain takes after exploding and is expressed in cm3 for each gram of seeds. This measurement is taken from tests carried out with expansion measuring machines. The standard expansion size is 40/42 and a maximum of 46/48. If the expansion is lowerr than 38, the grain is used for bird feeding.
Amount of moisture
Among other measures there is also the amount of moisture, which indicates the amount of water, expressed as a percentage, that is found inside the grain. This value is important because it guarantees an optimal drying and storage process.
Another interesting value to consider when buying popcorn is the percentage of explosion. Which indicates precisely the percentage of grains that are capable of expanding when exposed to high temperatures. 98% is the minimum accepted for an edible grain.
Which are the top popcorn producers?
The US and Argentina are the biggest producers of top quality popcorn. The largest exporter is Argentina, since around 90% of US production is consumed in its own country. While Argentina exports 90% of its production.
The popcorn seed from Argentina is recognized for its quality in more than 80 countries distributed in different continents.
How to properly store popcorn seeds?
In order for the quality of the popcorn to be preserved, care must be taken when storing it. The place chosen for storage must be dry and cool, with a temperature below 18ºC.
You must also be sure that there are no pests, rodents or insects that can affect the product. Just as there is no chemical substance that can contaminate it.
It is best to locate the packages in such a way that it is isolated from the ceiling, floor or walls.
What is the shelf life of the popcon?
If the product is stored safely the popcorn has a shelf life of two years. Therefore, rotating stock is important.
Popcorn exporters or sellers
You can buy premium quality popcorn from Argentina or USA from Springhaus. Which commercializes Golden Ribbon and Birdy and Birdy brands worldwide.