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Popcorn Long Term Storage

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Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby pasteur » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:18 pm

I recently saw a one hour show on either Discovery or History channel about corn. I never realized how important corn is and it's many uses. I also never knew how many different types of corn there are. I learned from this show that popcorn is grown to contain a high moisture content. When the kernel is heated the moisture in it turns to steam and it pops! Thus popcorn!

My concern is I planned to buy 50 lb. bags of popcorn from Sam's Club, who sells it very cheap, and store it long term. Since I learned that popcorn has a high moisture content I would think that it will not store very long and turn rancid after a short term. Popcorn is the only corn I can find in bulk in my area (New Orleans).

Does anyone know if my concerns about popcorn are correct? I'm wide open for suggestions.
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Re: Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby edea1976 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:32 pm

I hope you're wrong, because I was storing up popcorn too! I wonder if we can dry the popcorn? I was keeping mine to grind into cornmeal so I don't care if it still pops.
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Re: Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby Vina8 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:03 pm

Here is what I found out about storing popcorn. We have over 50 lbs of heirloom popcorn for seed and to eat.

"For best storage, the moisture content of popcorn must be low enough to prevent significant fungal and microbial activity, but not so low as to adversely affect its popping volume. Popcorn at 14.5% moisture can be safely stored over winter and into early spring. For longer term storage, it should be dried to 13.5-12.5%." http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/AFCM/popcorn.html

Popcorn is one form of a whole grain available to nearly everyone in the U.S. if they know where to look. Since it's so popular as a snack food, particularly in movie theaters and events like fairs and ball games, even the smallest of towns will generally have at least one business selling it in twenty five or fifty pound bags. Since it's meant to be eaten it's safe for food. To be at its most poppable, this corn needs to have a moisture content between 13.5%-15.5% which makes it just a little too moist for ideal storage. A small amount of drying will need to be done before it's packed away. If wanted for popping later, it can always be re-hydrated by sprinkling a small amount of water on the kernels, shaking vigorously and allowing it to be absorbed. http://www.survival-center.com/foodfaq/ff3-grai.htm

If you are going to grind it, make sure your grinder can handle it. Ours specifically warns against grinding popcorn in it (Family Grain Mill).

We have ours packed in Mylar with oxygen absorbers which should help keep it mold-free--I think. ?
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Re: Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby pasteur » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:26 pm

I hope I'm wrong but I've read that long term dry foods should have a moisture content of 10% or below.
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Re: Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby Vina8 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:32 pm

Pasteur, I read the same thing today in one of the articles, "Moisture Content," in the LDS Preparedness Manual.
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Re: Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby Genevieve » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:39 am

ok. so what am I to do with the 50# bag I bought at Sam's club, and is sitting in my kitchen? Should I let it sit for a while to dry more? Or should I take a chance and go ahead at pack it in the mylar with the oxy absorbs? ack. I'm not sure what to do now! I want it for grinding into meal.
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Re: Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby okie B » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:06 am

I could be way off here, but isn't the moisture content of popcorn most important if you are wanting it to pop? I mean, it's the moisture in the kernel that is heated and causes the explosion to make it popcorn. If you aren't wanting to pop the corn, I would think you could dehydrate the kernals to a low enough point that you could safely store them for later consumption or for grinding, but probably not the best popped corn results.
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Re: Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby Vina8 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:22 am

The stuff I read said you can dry it out in the oven at very, very low heat. A dehydrator would work. Later you can rehydrate it. It would probably pop okay even dried, just not as fluffy and big.

Genevieve, ours is already packed in the Mylar and O2, and we are going to leave it alone.
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Re: Popcorn Long Term Storage

Postby mr bill » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:46 pm

It seems that if you want to use it for grinding (grits, polenta, cornmeal,flour,etc) and you want to store it for long term use then to be safe the moisture content should be 7 to 10 %.. I have not tried to rehydrate Popcorn for popping. It should work if you don't get it too moist. You may consider storing the corn you intend to pop in quart jars with O2's.
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