Which Brand of Popcorn Pops Up the Most Corn?

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  • Topic: Popcorn, Orville Redenbacher's, Diacetyl
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  • Published : June 16, 2011
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Which Brand Of Popcorn Pops Up The Most Corn?
By A. Stone

Problem
Nobody likes to get to the end of their popcorn bowl only to have most of the popcorn not popped. It is very frustrating to purchase popcorn and end up with a bowl of un-popped kernels. Well, this experiment is to determine which brand of popcorn yields the least amount of un-popped kernels? Reason

The reason I decided on doing this project is because the materials required are inexpensive and easily available at most grocery or dollar stores. Through this experiment, I can educate consumers on which brand pops up the most corn, therefore saving them money. Hypothesis

There are many differing opinions on which popcorn has the least amount of un-popped kernels. Some think Orville Redenbacher, the expensive; gourmet popcorn is the best producer of popped kernels. Others may say the cheaper, off-brand (Great Value or Pop Weaver) would be the best. My hypothesis is that Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn will pop up the most kernels because it has been around the longest and is the most popular brand. Background

Popcorn is a light, highly popular snack enjoyed by many throughout the world. Native Americans popped popcorn over 5000 years ago, making it one of the oldest snack foods. It was introduced to the West by Christopher Columbus in the late 15th century (www.wikipedia.com ). There are two main types of popcorn, rice popcorn and pearl popcorn. Rice popcorn has pointed, white kernels. Pearl popcorn has rounded kernels that are usually yellow or orange in color. Popcorn kernels have a very hard endosperm with a small amount of moist starch in the center. When heated, steam formed inside the kernel’s moist core causes force inside the kernel to burst in a small explosion which turns it inside out, to become the white fluffy stuff, better known as popcorn! Popcorn has a special design that enables it to pop verse other types of corn. There are many threats that can affect how popcorn pops. In order to really make a good comparison of different brands of popcorn you have to understand what things may affect how popcorn pops. Sometimes you will find popcorn from the same brand pops differently if it is a different flavor such as; light butter, movie time butter, cheese flavor, ranch flavor and so on, this is why I chose to use the same flavor for all 3 brands tested. Another threat that can affect how popcorn pops is that the moisture content of the kernel must be at 13% or around for ideal popping. Storage or age can reduce the moisture content and cause the corn not to pop, so it was very important to choose the popcorn carefully for the test (www.wikipedia.com). To ensure that this didn’t happen I checked the expiration date for freshness on all brands being tested. I’ve found websites that contain information on popcorn experiments similar to mine. On one website: (http://www.mercer.edu/camps/message/summer2001/summer2001-popcorn.htm ) Act II was concluded the winner even though they claimed the best popping popcorn was Orville Redenbacher. But, their experiment also took into account price and taste. My experiment only focuses on kernels. Another website: ( http://www.gardenofpraise.com/sci993.htm) also states that Orville Redenbacher was the best popping popcorn. But, this experiment didn’t tell how long the popcorn was cooked and took into account the cost of the popcorn. Materials

Microwave
3 bags of Pop-Weavers Butter Popcorn
3 bags of Great Value (Wal-mart’s Off Brand) Butter Popcorn 3 bags of Orville Redenbacher Butter Popcorn
3 large bowls (for popcorn)
3 small bowls (for kernels)
Variables
The independent variables in this experiment are the three types of popcorn used: Great Value ( Wal-mart’s off-brand) butter popcorn, Orville Redenbacher butter popcorn, and Pop Weavers butter popcorn. The dependent variables in this experiment are the number of popped kernels and the volume after popping. The controlled...
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