Popcorn

Growing Tips

Eating Quality

No popcorn varieties are hulless. Eating quality is a measurement of flavor, kernel tenderness and hulls that are thin and break and disperse during popping. Thicker hulled hybrids retain the hull in the popped product and tend to remain in your teeth after eating. Factors influencing popcorn quality include kernel moisture and expansion ratio, processing procedures, home storage and handling. Good popcorn should provide at least 98% popped kernels with well under 2% unpopped kernels. Proper care at the processing level helps to assure this.

Eating Quality Rating

Good to Poor

Expansion

Refers to the increase in volume of unpopped corn after it is popped. To illustrate, if a given volume of unpopped corn expanded to a 40 rating when popped, the volume increase was 40 times. All data is collected on the standard test popper.

Lodging

The percentage of stalks broken below the ear at harvest time.

Mushroom Shape

The popped shape that is the most desirable for manufacturing caramel corn etc. due to tougher more durable shape after popping. Always less desirable as eating corn.

Yield

Pounds of shelled corn adjusted to 13.5% moisture.

Storage

To maintain the best quality popcorn, store at 13 - 14.5% moisture content.