Here's How to Make Popcorn Popped to Perfection Every Time

By Nick Cowen on at

With life-threatening afflictions such as Ebola, AIDS and cancer circling the globe, it’s great to hear that the scientific community is focusing on what’s important – entertainment snacks.

If not for a group of French scientists, for example, we’d never know the critical temperature at which popcorn pops. That would be 180C, if you care? We know somewhere there’s bound to be someone in the concession stand at Cineworld who’ll be over the moon at hearing this.

The BBC reports that physicists Emmanuel Virot and Alexandre Ponomarenko landed on this temperature level after studying each stage of a corn kernel popping in great in detail in order to understand its scientific basis.

"We found that the critical temperature is about 180C, regardless of the size or shape of the grain," Mr Virot, said.

The results of this study are set to be published in the Royal Society Interface, and covers other aspects of popcorn, including the way it jumps and the transformation kernels undergo when they pop. However, we don’t know whether they’ll include the optimum amounts of butter, salt or sugar needed to provide the best serving suggestion.

Good job, science; with so many the mysteries of the universe that have yet to be solved or explained – Black Holes, Time Travel, why anyone would vote for UKIP – it’s great to hear that physicists in France are literally staring at corn kernels until they burst. Now if you could just get on to working exactly how many times a slushy mix needs to be churned in order to guarantee maximum flavour, we’d be very grateful. [BBC]

Image Credit: Popcorn from Shutterstock