Popcorn is one of the favorite snacks of most Americans. The design of popcorn is part of the method used to pop it. The wet-pop method involves placing the corn in the container with solid bottom. Then oil is added to distribute the heat in order for the popping to be complete and even. The dry method is made up of placing the unpopped grain into a basket or wire cage shaking it over a campfire or any heat source to allow the corn to pop and it is seasoned with salt and butter.
Hybrid types of popcorn are perfected to make the most grains for every ear of corn. When the ear ripens, the corn is harvested. The ears are collected in the field in bins or boxes and transported into steel cribs that use mechanical conveyors.
Then the ears are dried in narrow cribs with open slots to reduce the time required to dry them. They will be stored for 8 to 12 months in order for them to dry. But other manufacturers use hot air to force up through the holes of the crib to minimize the natural time to dry.
Dried ears of popcorn and moved into the conveyor belt in a machine called scalper that will strip the kernels from their cob. The cleaner and de-stoner sort the shuckings or any dirt particles out through a series of screens. Gravity separator is being used to remove the bad kernels from the good.
In the fanning mill, the fans will blow the dust as well as other fine material off the kernels, treating them with natural fumigant to remove insects. After completely processing, the popcorn kernels are moved into the storage bins on the conveyor belt. Popcorn types that have no other additives will directly go into the holding bins for packaging. Microwave popcorn needs to have measured amount of salt, flavoring, soy bean along with the popcorn dropped into microwave bags.
In the packaging area, the popcorn is transported from the holding bins into the packing machines where it is put in bags and boxed for storage.