Popcorn Microstructure

Popcorn Microstructure

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Credit: SCIMAT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Popcorn microstructure by SEM. Corn pops well only if its moisture content is 11-14 percent. When the kernels are heated, the small amount of water gelatinizes their starch at minus 66 degrees Celcius. As heating continues, the water vaporizes and expands rapidly in volume. The kernels burst open and the endosperm expands in volume. The already cooked starch granules are dried out as the water vapor escapes. SEM shows fractured cell walls following the explosive expansion. Popped kernel cut with a knife. Enhanced SEM. Image width: 556 micrometers. Magnification: 180x if the image is printed 10 cm wide.

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Keywords: bursting, cell wall, cell walls, color, color enhanced, colorized, corn, electron micrograph, electron micrographs, food, gelatinization, in color, kernel, micrograph, micrographs, micrography, microstructure, popcorn, popped, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron micrographs, scanning electron microscopy, science, sem, sems, starch

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