Experts Solve Mystery of Unpopped Popcorn

craigdawg

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2004
360
0
Sactown
It's about time someone figured this out. Jeez.
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.
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=624&e=1&u=/ap/popcorn_s_secret
 

mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
593
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københavn
Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Purdue University - finally I can get on with my life after this, one of mankinds great, mysteries have been solved.

A

PS - I really hope your research is privately funded.
 

Raid

macrumors 68020
Feb 18, 2003
2,153
4,585
Toronto
While it's interesting to find out why that happens, I still don't want them to geneticaly modify my corn just so I'm spared the un popped popcorn at the bottom of my bowl/bag... How about getting rid of cancer, world hunger, and a whole list of other things first! :rolleyes:
 

Kmacripple

macrumors member
Jan 20, 2005
47
0
Topeka, IN (aka Amish country)
Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Purdue University - finally I can get on with my life after this, one of mankinds great, mysteries have been solved.

A

PS - I really hope your research is privately funded.
Purdue is known an agriculture school. It is their job to figure that stuff out.

While it's interesting to find out why that happens, I still don't want them to geneticaly modify my corn just so I'm spared the un popped popcorn at the bottom of my bowl/bag... How about getting rid of cancer, world hunger, and a whole list of other things first!

Today 10:43 AM
Maybe they can feed the world all the previously unpopped popcorn. Maybe we just should never research anything ever again so we can get rid of cancer and hunger. ;)
 

Raid

macrumors 68020
Feb 18, 2003
2,153
4,585
Toronto
rainman::|:| said:
If by "world" you mean "the .003% of businessmen that run the world", this probably is a solution for their hunger...
Ah I see you're plan now Rainman! You'll feed them unmodified popcorn and hope they choke on it! No? Hmm, K call that a plan 'C', right after pretzels. :)

Kmacripple said:
Maybe we just should never research anything ever again so we can get rid of cancer and hunger.
Well I didn't say that now; all I'm saying is there are several thousand things I'd like to see worked on rather than ensuring all my popcorn kernels are popped. I am currently happy with my level of unpopped popcorn. ;)
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
Ah yes, another good use of research dollars....

But if they can make it so all the popcorn in a bag pops, does that mean the manufacturers will put less popcorn in the bag? I could see where they'd want to get a 99.9% popped bag - but its still a little silly and obviously its a very slow news day...

D
 

MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
Mr. Anderson said:
Ah yes, another good use of research dollars....

But if they can make it so all the popcorn in a bag pops, does that mean the manufacturers will put less popcorn in the bag? I could see where they'd want to get a 99.9% popped bag - but its still a little silly and obviously its a very slow news day...

D
I doubt it. Counting corn into a bag is a difficult manufacturing problem. X volume or X weight are the easiest.

Its not that bad a use of research dollars. If I ran a company that made pop corn I would consider plopping down 100k or so to improve yields 20%
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
Kmacripple said:
Purdue is known an agriculture school. It is their job to figure that stuff out.



Maybe they can feed the world all the previously unpopped popcorn. Maybe we just should never research anything ever again so we can get rid of cancer and hunger. ;)
There is research being done in many different areas. Research is being done into cancer and world hunger, but these are just such complex problems. Progress is very slow, results are on an individuals basis

Something like this is easier to solve, gives positive results to business.
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
I actually like crunching on unpopped popcorn. This would be a step backwards in my opinion.
 

Don't panic

macrumors 603
Jan 30, 2004
5,541
696
having a drink at Milliways
mcadam said:
Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Purdue University - finally I can get on with my life after this, one of mankinds great, mysteries have been solved.

A

PS - I really hope your research is privately funded.
I appreciate the sarcasm, but this research is much less meaningless than it might seem at first sight.
it's funded by the purdue/industry Purdue's Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research and it makes sense they'do research that would eliminate million$ in waste/lost revenues.
besides, to understand how things work can often have application in unpredictable fields (ie: popcorn used for packaging)
 

stoid

macrumors 601
Raid said:
How about getting rid of cancer, world hunger, and a whole list of other things first! :rolleyes:
Popcorn is actually the solution to both. If all our resources were put towards making popcorn it could solve the hunger problem, and I promise you that if you ate nothing but popcorn morning, noon, and night, you wouldn't die of cancer! ;) :D
 

Don't panic

macrumors 603
Jan 30, 2004
5,541
696
having a drink at Milliways
Raid said:
While it's interesting to find out why that happens, I still don't want them to geneticaly modify my corn just so I'm spared the un popped popcorn at the bottom of my bowl/bag...
but you already ARE eating highly selected breeds of "popping" corn.
As a matter of fact (with the partial exception of some fish and some venison) pretty much ANY food eaten in quantity by ANYBODY in the world is "genetically modified" and has been so for tens, hundreds or thousands of years, depending on the specific food in question.
 

EJBasile

macrumors 65816
Apr 20, 2004
1,304
2
Thank god. At least I can sleep at night now.

I think Bruce Hamaker (scientist) should win the Nobel Prize
 

Mr. Durden

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2005
716
0
Colorado
wdlove said:
There is research being done in many different areas. Research is being done into cancer and world hunger, but these are just such complex problems. Progress is very slow, results are on an individuals basis

Something like this is easier to solve, gives positive results to business.
So are you saying this was done by the stupider brainiacs? :p

Perhaps they aspire to move on to human problems and this is just a stepping stone. (yes, that was a bad attempt at humor. Sorry).
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,478
205
visiting from downstream
I know that hindsight is 20/20, but this seems rather obvious in retrospect. Still, it's nice to have proven the exact cause.

And I'm just fine with the current ratio of popped to unpopped kernels. Let's not start genenging corn to produce a strain where every single kernel pops.
 

mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
593
0
københavn
clayjohanson said:
I know that hindsight is 20/20, but this seems rather obvious in retrospect. Still, it's nice to have proven the exact cause.

And I'm just fine with the current ratio of popped to unpopped kernels. Let's not start genenging corn to produce a strain where every single kernel pops.
Are you crazy, the ratio could be anywhere
from 4 percent in premium brands to 47 percent in the cheaper ones
:eek:


A
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,478
205
visiting from downstream
The point is that if premium brands already have an excellent popped/unpopped kernel ratio, there's no need to tinker with the corn any further. (I'm a bit of a neoluddite when it comes to screwing around with nature.) The Orville Reddenbacher microwave popcorn I usually consume often comes through with ZERO unpopped kernels, so they must be doing something right.
 

Raid

macrumors 68020
Feb 18, 2003
2,153
4,585
Toronto
stoid said:
Popcorn is actually the solution to both. If all our resources were put towards making popcorn it could solve the hunger problem, and I promise you that if you ate nothing but popcorn morning, noon, and night, you wouldn't die of cancer! ;) :D
Yeah we'd die of malnutrition!
;)
Don't panic said:
but you already ARE eating highly selected breeds of "popping" corn. As a matter of fact (with the partial exception of some fish and some venison) pretty much ANY food eaten in quantity by ANYBODY in the world is "genetically modified" and has been so for tens, hundreds or thousands of years, depending on the specific food in question.
Well in most of the cases you speak of, your talking about selective breeding or cross breeding (which has problems of it's own)...messing around with genetic code just to make popcorn pop seems a might excessive to me! :p
 

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