Hybrid and environment effects on popcorn kernel physiochemical properties and their relationship to microwave popping performance

Jess C. Sweley, Devin J. Rose, David S. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to characterize the effect of hybrid and environment on physical and chemical characteristics of popcorn kernels that have shown importance in predicting end-use quality. Three popcorn hybrids grown in three different environments were tested for physiochemical attributes and popping performance. Hybrid had a significant effect on kernel sphericity, time-to-grind, dietary fiber, sugars, and starch. Environment effect alone affected total mineral content. Hybrid and environment main effects influenced test weight, tangential abrasive dehulling device index, thousand-kernel weight, total carbohydrates, and kernel protein content. Oil adherence to the bag averaged 15.8% and was proportional to oil amount added prior to microwave popping. Unpopped kernels averaged 11.4±5.3%. Most unpopped kernels were observed to successfully pop when heated a second time in microwave tests. Expansion volume was 44.7±3.7 and 47.3±6.4cm 3/g, depending on the method of determination. Expansion volume was correlated (p<0.05) with several kernel physiochemical parameters that were influenced by hybrid effect. Sphericity, thousand-weight, and total fat are physiochemical characteristics that appear to be good predictors (p<0.05) of expansion volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cereal Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012



  • Expansion volume
  • Popcorn
  • Unpopped kernels
  • Zea mays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry

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