Breaking News: Mystery of unpopped popcorn solved

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Mystery of unpopped popcorn solved

INDIANAPOLIS — Eat your way to the bottom of almost any bag of popcorn and there they are: the rock-hard, jaw-rattling unpopped kernels known as old maids.

The nuisance kernels have kept many a dentist busy, but their days could be numbered: Scientists say they now know why some popcorn kernels resist popping into puffy white globes.

It’s long been known that popcorn kernels must have a precise moisture level in their starchy center — about 15 percent — to explode. But Purdue University researchers found the key to a kernel’s explosive success lies in the composition of its hull.

Unpopped kernels, it turns out, have leaky hulls that prevent the moisture pressure buildup needed for them to pop and lack the optimal hull structure that allows most kernels to explode.

And because we at Wizbang offer the daily news with our no-holds-barred editorial comment, I’ll take a firm position on this issue:

As a popcorn fan (and avid boater,) I’m against leaky hulls of all kinds.

The Friendly Skies
They never had a prayer

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