Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Kernel Coat

Old Maid Reduction
  (+13, -1)(+13, -1)
(+13, -1)
  [vote for,

I was reading a news account this morning about researchers that have found that the reason for unpopped popcorn kernels ("old maids") is that there are hairline fissures in the aril, or husk, of some kernels that prevent the pressure from building to the popping point.

Maybe if the kernels were treated to a sojourn in a vessel filled with an edible coating--a hard impermeable coating that intimately bonds with the the crystalline husk surface and seals the kernels--the percentage of old maid kernels could be reduced.

A starch?

This process likely needs to be done at the time of processing rather than at the consumer level but I can see the commercial possibility of a "popping enhancer" product selling into the home with the caveat that it wouldn't work for microwave popcorn.

bristolz, Apr 21 2005

"Kernel" http://www.popcorn.org/index.cfm
The popcorn board spells it "K E R N E L". Good enough for me. My old Commordore 64's "kernal" never popped. [Klaatu, Apr 21 2005]

Pop-Peas Pop-Peas
similar research [FarmerJohn, Apr 22 2005]


       I dunno, they make good tooth fillers.Besides the parrot likes em.I remain neutral.
skinflaps, Apr 21 2005

       Why wouldn't it work for microwave popcorn?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 21 2005

       As a consumer product I can't see how the user could apply the coating to kernels trapped inside a microwave bag and already covered with oil and flavoring.   

       Gee, I didn't realize I was varying the spelling like that. In truth, I'm not sure which spelling is correct. Maybe they're both valid.   

       Ah, thanks' [Klaatu]. i have fixed the random spelling.
bristolz, Apr 21 2005

       I was thinking of little fur coats for the kernels, but I like this idea. [+]
Klaatu, Apr 21 2005

       Presumably if the kernel coating has hairline fissures they will resonate differently when subjected to a driver frequency, in much the same way that cracked bells don't ring. Therefore, wouldn't it be better to subject each kernel to a device which measures its size, determines a probable resonant frequency, and then subjects the kernel to vibrations at this frequency to see if it 'rings'? Only kernels which fail this test need be treated with the fissure repair coating.
hippo, Apr 22 2005

       Surely it would be easier to simply pass each kernel through an MRI scanner and scan for fractures?
wagster, Apr 22 2005

bristolz, Apr 22 2005


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