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Manufacturing

Manufacturing

Cultivation

For popcorn to grown to its best it needs rich soil. The corn is planted in checkrows, these are rows that intersect at right (90-degree) angles, it is planted this way so that it can be harvested by the machine. When the ears are ripe, the corn is harvested with either a machine picker that removes first removes the ears and leaves the stalks temporarily. Alternatively with a combine that crushes the corn stalks, and mechanically removes the ears and the husks the corn. The ears are then collected in the field in boxes and transported into steel cribs using mechanical elevators or conveyors.

Once harvested the ears are dried in cribs that are narrow and are designed with open slots to minimize the time needed to dry them. Some cribs can be as high as a three stories high building, or as long as a big city block. When filled they contain up to 1.8 million kg of corn.

Once in their cribs, the ears are then stored for eight to 12 months in order for them to dry. Another method of drying involves hot air which is forced up into the cribs through holes in the bottoms of the big storage cribs. This process cuts down the time for drying them. While in the cribs, the corn is carefully stored until the kernels attain a moisture content of 12.5-13.5% moisture, which is ideal for its popping characteristics.

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Into the factory

The dried ears of popcorn are then transferred by conveyor belt to the factory. There is a machine called a scalper that quickly strips the kernel from the cobs. The kernels then proceed along conveyer belt where they are cleaned and any dirt or other particles are removed from the kernels.

The kernels are then cleaned and polished, and they then go through a gravity separator to separate the good kernels from bad ones. The separator works by sorting the bad kernels that are hard and heavier and drop though the bottom versus the good kernels which are lighter. The heavier ones are then kept and used for seed.

In the packaging area, popcorn is conveyed from the holding bins to packing machines where it is placed in bags and then boxed for storage or shipment.

HOW SUPERPOP MAKES ITS POPCORN – THE AIR DRYING PROCESS

At Superpop we use the highest quality corn to make our products. Our preference for preparing our product is to air-pop the corn. This allows us to ensure quality control of the different varieties of flavours we offer our customers.

So skilled are we, that 450kg of popcorn can be popped every hour! The corn flows through a circulating drum filled with hot air and by the time it gets to the other end it has exploded, all ready to be coated with whatever flavours the customer wants. We can reduce the amount of oil or salt added to the finished product; what the customer wants, the customer gets, satisfaction guaranteed.

Air popped is much more versatile than other cooking methods because you can adjust the quantity of seasoning and fat going into the mixture.

HOW SUPERPOP MAKES ITS POPCORN – THE WET POPPING PROCESS

At Superpop we use the highest quality corn to make our products. Wet popped corn is how nearly every cinema in the world prepares their corn, using heated oil. The final product has that crunch that many people prefer when they’re at the cinema; warm buttery flavored popcorn. All our pop corn made with the wet process is made with pure coconut oil. Unlike other Australian popcorn manufacturers that use use sunflower or canola oil, which can quickly become rancid. At Superpop we only use coconut oil.

Supermarkets may prefer to offer flavoured options for their customers. Sweet and Salty popcorn is a favourite in Australia, and is sold in most supermarkets nation-wide. Our quality control department ensures this type of popcorn is prepared to ensure an optimal experience, including the also popular, caramel varieties of the product we provide.

HOW SUPERPOP MAKES ITS POPCORN – THE MICROWAVE VERSION

At Superpop we use the highest quality corn to make our products. We respond to changing consumer trends and also have a microwave popcorn range. Developed as a shelf-stable product, microwave popcorn can be stored in the pantry and is always available whenever the consumer wants it.  Our special packaging contains a panel that concentrates the heat to make the cooking process consistent, again ensuring an optimal product for our customers. Whilst popcorn can be prepared in the microwave using a paper bag, there is a risk of the product catching on fire! Superpop microwave popcorn is a far safer option!

HOW SUPERPOP MAKES ITS POPCORN – THE WET POPPING PROCESS

At Superpop we use the highest quality corn to make our products. Wet popped corn is how nearly every cinema in the world prepares their corn, using heated oil. The final product has that crunch that many people prefer when they’re at the cinema; warm buttery flavored popcorn. All our pop corn made with the wet process is made with pure coconut oil. Unlike other Australian popcorn manufacturers that use use sunflower or canola oil, which can quickly become rancid. At Superpop we only use coconut oil.

Supermarkets may prefer to offer flavoured options for their customers. Sweet and Salty popcorn is a favourite in Australia, and is sold in most supermarkets nation-wide. Our quality control department ensures this type of popcorn is prepared to ensure an optimal experience, including the also popular, caramel varieties of the product we provide.

THE POPCORN JOURNEY – FROM THE SEED THROUGH TO A NUTRITIONAL SNACK

Popcorn is a cereal grain that has its origins from wild grass. It is made up of 3 main components. These are the endosperm, the germ and the pericarp. The endosperm is made up of both hard and soft granules. Its always white or yellow in its colour and is a carbohydrate. The starches function is to provide energy for he living part of the corn kernel, while the outer cap of the kernel is made up of cellulose. The outer hull of the kernel is usually white or yellow in colour, though with some varieties you can get a range of colours and patterns ranging from red, berry, black and everything in between.

In spring the farmers use a corn planter to place the popcorn seeds into the soil. Theses seeds are planted at a depth of 292mm and 152.4mm apart. Which means that is approximately 28,000 seeds in every acre. It takes around 7 to 10 days for the seed to germinate and emerge from the soil. With nutrients in the soil, moisture and sunshine the corn continues to grow adding more leaves and roots.

The corn will continue to grow to a height of approximately 243.8cm and needs around 18 to 24 inches of water during the growing season.

As the corn grows, it starts to grow ears of corn. These are covered with green husks to protect it. At the tip of the ears grows long strands that look a little like stands of hair. These catch the pollen and pollination occurs allowing the ears to produce kernels.

When the popcorn is mature and its leaves are dry and brown in colour and the kernels are hard, and the moisture content is exactly right, the popcorn can be harvested.

Once harvested and dried to the optimum moisture level, it is cleaned, to remove any particles from the corn. Next the corn is polished, eliminating any final plant materials from the crop. The kernels are then ready to be packaged ready for them to be popped and eaten.

Superpop Group ©2017

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