Food Science and Technology Department


Date of this Version



Cereal Chemistry (2011) 88(3): 321-327. DOI:10.1094/CCHEM-09-10-0129


Copyright © 2011 American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc. Used by Permission.


The objective of this study was to identify and characterize different popped popcorn flake shapes, or polymorphisms, arising from a yellow butterfly popcorn hybrid (YP-213), and then to determine the impact of popcorn flake shape on composition and sensory characteristics. Kernels were popped using a microwave oven and visually sorted into three different polymorphisms depending on whether the appendages were expanded unilaterally, bilaterally, or multilaterally. When popped, 9.0 ± 3.1%, 71.2 ± 5.9% and 12.3 ± 3.8% of kernels were expanded unilaterally, bilaterally, and multilaterally, respectively, while 7.6 ± 1.4% of kernels remained unpopped. Expansion volumes for unilaterally, bilaterally, and multilaterally expanded polymorphisms were 28.6 ± 3.84, 43.0 ± 0.84, and 53.5 ± 2.5 cm3/g, respectively. Unilateral popcorn flakes retained the most fat, saturated fat, and sodium, while multilaterally expanded flakes had the highest levels of protein, total carbohydrate, and popcorn-like aromatic pyrazines. Sensory evaluation revealed significant differences among polymorphisms for flavor and texture attributes, with the unilaterally expanded polymorphism receiving the highest overall product liking. These data show that different popcorn flake polymorphisms produced from a single hybrid of popcorn affect sensory and compositional profiles. More research is necessary to elucidate the factors that affect popcorn flake polymorphisms and support development of new varieties or techniques to produce the most desirable microwave popcorn.

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