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Each popcorn kernel contains a small amount of water stored in a circle of soft starch inside the hard outer casing. When heated to around 450° F, the moisture turns to steam, creating pressure within.
As the pressure builds, the casing eventually gives way, and the kernel explodes and pops, allowing the water to escape as steam and turning the kernel inside out.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popcorn

Popcorn is a variety of corn kernel, which expands and puffs up when heated. A popcorn .... Popcorn will pop when freshly harvested, but not well: its high moisture content leads to poor expansion and chewy .... This can make it an attractive snack to people with dietary restrictions on the intake of calories, fat or sodium.

www.popcorn.org/Facts-Fun/What-Makes-Popcorn-Pop

What Makes Popcorn Pop? Half the fun of popcorn is watching it turn from a hard, little yellow seed into a white fluffy treat. Few foods take such a dramatic turn ...

wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-makes-popcorn-pop

And why doesn't all corn pop when heated? The answer is a matter of simple science. Popcorn is a special kind of corn. Of all the types of corn, popcorn is the  ...

www.thoughtco.com/how-does-popcorn-pop-607429

May 5, 2017 ... Here's a look at what makes popcorn different from other seeds and ... If popcorn is heated too slowly, it won't pop because steam leaks out of ...

www.thespruce.com/why-does-popcorn-pop-1328691

Mar 18, 2017 ... We may not have always known what makes popcorn pop, but humans have been enjoying popcorn for thousands of years. Ancients attributed ...

www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-popcorn-science-20150210-story.html

Feb 11, 2015 ... Here's why popcorn explodes, jumps and makes the popping sound. ... Uncovering the physics of popcorn -- what makes it pop, what makes it ...

www.homesciencetools.com/a/popcorn-science-project

Find out why popcorn pops with this fun science project! ... Now that you know what makes popcorn pop, do some experiments to see if altering the kernels will  ...

www.asabe.org/media/115824/popcorn.pdf

The amount of moisture in popcorn determines how well it pops. Make a guess: Will it pop better if it's pretty moist? Pretty dry? Or somewhere in between?

mentalfloss.com/article/32131/why-does-popcorn-pop

Jan 7, 2013 ... All three of those things help make popcorn pop the way it does. As you cook the kernels in a pan on the stovetop or in a microwaveable bag, ...