After researching, I found two studies that are similar to my experiment. One study by Sean Boyd (2007) tested to see which brand of microwave popcorn yielded the least amount of un-popped kernels. Mr. Boyd tested five brands of butter flavored microwave popcorn: Aldi, Act II, Orville Redenbacher, Jolley Time and Pop-Secret. His experiment proved his hypothesis partially wrong. Mr. Boyd hypothesized that Orville Redenbacher would be the best and Aldi's would be the worst. His experiment proved that Act II produced the least amount of un-popped kernels while Aldi's did have the most un-popped kernels on average.
On the other end of the spectrum, Tammie Mason (2011) experimented to see which brand of microwave popcorn yielded the highest percentage of popped kernels to determine the best value. Ms. Mason experimented with four brands of microwave popcorn, three are major brands and one is a generic: Act II, Pop Weaver, Orville Redenbacher and Sure Fine (generic). Ms. Mason's experience with generic grocery products have been positive and generally satisfactory. Therefore, her initial inclination is that the generic Sure Fine would be just as good as a name brand product. After she reviewed other similar studies, she predicted the name brand microwave popcorn would produce a better value. Her conclusion determined that Orville Redenbacher was the clear leader and the generic Sure Fine proved to be the worst in terms of value. Experimental Design
Tools and materials needed to reproduce my experiment:
Three bags each of butter flavored microwave popcorn from:
□ Jolley Time
□ Orville Redenbacher
□ Act II
□ Pop Weaver
□ GE model #JES0736 microwave oven (700 watt)
□ One 13" x 18" jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet with edges) □ Small plastic spoon
□ Eight Ziploc type one-gallon bags
□ Pen or pencil
□ Paper towel
□ Data sheet containing 17 lines and 5 columns (see below) Experiment Steps
Remove one bag of popcorn from the plastic wrapper. Place in microwave according to the manufactures direction (this side up).
Microwave the popcorn according to the manufacturers direction.
Remove from popcorn from the microwave and open according to the package directions. Leave microwave oven door open to allow cooling.
Pour contents onto the jelly roll pan making sure to empty entire contents (kernels may get stuck in the creases of the bag). Discard bag into a trash receptacle.
Using the spatula, gently move popcorn to one side of the pan.
Using the plastic spoon, carefully count each popped kernel by gently moving to the other side of the pan. As you come across *un-popped kernels, simply move them aside to an unoccupied area of your pan.
Record the number of popped kernels on the data sheet with pen or pencil.
Count and record the number of *un-popped kernels on the data sheet with pen or pencil.
Using the spoon, scoop up the *un-popped kernels and discard them into a trash receptacle.
Using the spatula, scoop the remaining popcorn into a gallon bag (to enjoy or share later). You will be able to fit all three bags of each brand of popcorn into two 1-gallon bags.
Wipe cookie sheet with paper towel to remove any residue.
Repeat step's 1 - 11 with the remaining packages of popcorn.
*While partially popped popcorn kernels (often referred to as "Grannies" or "Old Maids") are tasty and are considered by many to be the little treasures at the bottom of the bowl, they can be damaging to your teeth. So for this study, we will count them as un-popped.
Calculating the number of successfully popped popcorn kernels vs. the un-popped kernels by counting the contents from each of three bags of each brand to find the average percentage or yield of each brand. Independent:
The brand of microwave popcorn. Four will be examined and calculated. Controlled:
Utilizing the same microwave oven and using the same flavor...
References: American Popcorn Company. (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved June 3, 2013, from URL address http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pop_Corn_Company
Boyd,S. (2007)The Jawbreakers of the Popcorn Industry. Retrieved on May 31, 2013, from: URL address http://home.ptd.net/~sequoia1/Science/popcorn.htm
Mason, T. (2011)Which Microwave Popcorn Gives the Most POP for Your Buck? Retrieved on May 31, 2013, from: URL address http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6155202/which_microwave_popcorn_gives_the_most.html?cat=46
Orville Redenbacher 's. (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved June 3, 2013, from URL address http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orville_Redenbacher%27s
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