Popcorn Dissected

Popcorn can be grown specifically for a variety of special characteristics:

Popcorn comes in two natural colors, white and yellow, which are determined by the color of the endosperm. White popcorn was the original, but today, about 90% of all popcorn sold is yellow because of its larger kernels and stronger flavor.

Popped Kernel Shape:
There are two distinct kernel shapes:
mushroom and butterfly. The mushroom flake puffs up into a round ball. The butterfly flake puffs into an irregular or pronged shape. Butterfly popcorn is considered the most tender and flavorful because its shape helps hold butter and seasonings well.

Nutritional Content:
Popcorn, a cereal grain like rice or wheat, is about three-fourths carbohydrate (starch), with smaller amounts of protein, fiber, fat, minerals and water. Popcorn contains about 1-2% fiber – as much as a piece of whole-wheat toast.

As a snack, popcorn contains more protein, iron and fiber than ice cream or pretzels. It has no preservatives or additives. Some dentists recommend snacking on popcorn because it cleans teeth and your gums. Finally, popcorn is relatively inexpensive. Compared to candy and ice cream, it's a tasty and healthy bargain!

For more popcorn nutrition and facts, visit the Popcorn Board's web site.

There are three main parts of a popcorn kernel:

  • The outer covering – also referred to as the hull or enamel

  • The part that sprouts out of the seed during growth – the germ

  • The starch that expands during popping – the endosperm