Popcorn's Secret

Scientists discover why some popcorn kernels don't pop

One of life's little mysteries appears to have been solved. Scientists in Indianapolis say they've figured out why some popcorn kernels don't pop.

It's long been known that popcorn kernels must have a precise moisture level in their starchy center to explode. But scientists now say the composition of a kernel's hull also plays a large part. They say some kernels have leaky hulls that allow the moisture to escape. They say when that happens pressure can't build up inside the kernel and it "just sits there."

A spokeswoman for the Popcorn Board says the new information isn't "rocking anyone's world, but our members always like to improve their product."