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Foods -- General

Why won't popcorn pop?

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In order for popcorn to pop, there must be moisture in the kernel that expands upon heating, causing the kernel to explode. If the popcorn has been stored for a long time or in an open container, it might have become too dry to pop. To revive it, fill a quart jar with popcorn and add 1-tablespoon water and shake well to distribute the water. Close tightly and keep the jar in the refrigerator. When all the moisture is absorbed, try popping again. In the future, store popcorn in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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