WHAT IS POPCORN?
Many people ask… What is Popcorn? Where does it come from? So, we thought we would shed a little light on this topic.
A corn cob is where corn kernels derive from. Grown on a farm where harvesting takes place in the first quarter of every year. Once harvested, cut and cleaned the kernels are placed in storage to dry out, the farmers must ensure they keep the moisture content just right to ensure they do not dry out the internal moisture which is imperative for corn kernels to POP! If the kernel is too dry, it will simply not pop, which explains why some kernels remain un popped and filter to the bottom of the batch. When a kernel is heated, the moisture inside turns to steam which in turn causes it to POP.
Sweet corn is what most people think of when you talk about corn. This is the corn you find in the freezer as well as the shelves of supermarkets. What makes it sweet is the timing of harvesting. Sweet corn is harvested earlier, which means the kernels have a lot more sugar content than starch.
A favourite of many movie goers, this type of corn has a distinctive hard shell. It has the right level of moisture to allow it to pop when heated.
Flour corn is on of the oldest varieties of corn. It has soft kernels that are made up of starch content which makes them very easy to grind and as such has been used in baked goods and lots of other goods we consume.
This type of corn is named after the dimple that forms in the middle of the corn’s kernel. It is the most popular corn grown in the USA and accounts for around 99% of corn grown. This type of corn is used as livestock feed as well as making corn syrup. It is also used in industrial products like ethanol for fuel, beverages and sanitizers.
As dent corn has a high starch content, it means it is the most efficient raw material and can be used in a number of environmentally friendly ways.
This type of corn is similar to dent corn. The majority of this type of corn is grown in Central and South America. This type of corn is used both as a feed as well as a food source in these geographic areas.
Also known as Indian corn, this type of corn is very colourful and ornamental than the other corns detailed here. Its distinctive colour and patterns are a result of its uniquely elongated kernels and large range of colourful patterns.
Did you know that there are two shapes of popcorn, there is the butterfly and the mushroom. In both types, what happens when the heated popcorn, is that it’s that popping pressure that causes a failure in the outer skin of the kernel. Even though the kernel skin is quite tough, the hole expands with the heat and the skin stays mostly together. The starches within the kernel are blown out through the hole, which causes the popcorn to invert, so that the skin is now on the inside, and then as it cools it cracks in several places.
When the expansion occurs evenly, you get ma mushroom shape popcorn, which is roughly spherical, with the outer surface developing fissures to resemble a mushroom.
Some varieties of corn don’t expand in an even fashion. The corn kernels actually have several lobes. When these lobes expand, they expand away from each other, which results in a butterfly shaped popcorn.
In terms of nutritional value, Air-popped popcorn is naturally high in dietary fibre and antioxidants, its naturally low in calories, gluten-free, and non-GMO, which makes it a great fit for today’s health conscious consumer.
It is also low in fat, and free of sugar and sodium. As a result, it makes an attractive snack food option when compared to other snack foods available today. It also makes an attractive snack for people with dietary restrictions on the intake of calories, fat or sodium if cooked and serves correctly.
Popcorn nuti facts
When it comes to healthy snacks, plain popcorn is at the top of most nutritionists’ recommendation lists. Air-popped and eaten plain, popcorn is low in calories and fat and high in fiber and beneficial antioxidants, especially when compared to other common snack foods. Popcorn is a whole-grain food that can be eaten as part of healthy diet that includes at least six servings of grains every day.
Features Plain, air-popped popcorn contains about 30 calories and 1 gram of fiber per cup. The nutritional value of other types of popcorn products varies greatly, depending on the type of ingredients that are added. If you buy microwavable, stove-top or packaged popcorn, check the nutrition facts label to see how many calories, grams of fat and milligrams of salt the product contains. For the healthiest popcorn, compare brands and varieties and choose those with the lowest calories and least fat and salt.
The two healthiest was to have popcorn are air-popped and microwave popcorns.
Freshly air-popped popcorn, with no additives like salt, sugar, flavourings, butter, doesn’t contain many calories at all and the great thing is that its low in fat and carbohydrates. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 3 cup serving of white, air-popped popcorn has only 92 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 milligram of sodium. It also has 2.9 grams of protein, 18.7 grams of carbs and 3.6 grams of dietary fibre. It also contains no cholesterol.
You can get your microwave popcorn at your local supermarket of convenience store. It is truly a hassle-free alternative for having freshly popped popcorn, for those people who don’t enjoy using an air popper.
POPCORN IS NOT ONLY NUTRITIOUS, BUT VERSATILE.
Want to find a nutritious snack without putting on weight? Popcorn is ideal if it is eaten without adding any extras. A naturally good tasting snack, many families include it as a healthy snack in the lunchboxes of their children. Popcorn is high in dietary fibre low in simple sugars and saturated fats, particularly if air popped. It’s nutritional value can decrease when other ingredients like sugar, salt and butter are added. Air popped is much better nutritionally speaking compared to cooking kernels in oil or butter. Commercially available popcorn machines are widely available, as are prepackaged, microwavable popcorn.
What else can you use popcorn for?
Why not string some popcorn next time you decorate your Christmas tree? Sending a package in the mail or by courier? Why not use air- popped corn to protect your fragile items?