Pop Science

Sure, if you are a popcorn nut, you know that some types of corn are great poppers and others aren't. But do you know why? Have you assessed the thermal diffusivity of the pericarp, the kernel's tough outer layer? Have you analyzed the starch content of the endosperm, the inner, meaty layer? Have you compared the ratios of expanded to original volumes of various kernels? If so, you would know that the pericarp in popcorn has more densely packed fiber than that of ordinary corn. You'd know that starch content is less important. You needn't bother, though: Brazilian scientists have already...

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