MSU Research History: Popcorn?
1950 – Though popcorn has been available in Central and South America for centuries, Michigan State University Professor Stephen T. Dexter researched – and then patented – a method of preserving unpopped popcorn at optimum moisture content. As Dexter describes it:
“…popcorn does not pop well unless at the time it is popped it contains approximately 14 percent moisture. I have discovered that popcorn can be maintained at the best popping condition or restored to that condition by storing it in a closed container in which the atmosphere is maintained at approximately 75 percent relative humidity. This relative humidity can be maintained throughout a wide range of temperatures by placing in the container a saturated solution of common table salt.”
Source: Method of preserving unpopped popcorn at optimum moisture content, US 2497399 A
Photo: Bill Ebbesen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons