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Who invented microwave popcorn?


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2011-03-02 18:55:53
2011-03-02 18:55:53

Percy L. Spencer holds patent (US) 2480679 from 1949 on microwave popcorn. Here is a quotation from this remarkable patent applications:

It has been found that, if the dry heat necessary to pop or evert the kernels of popcorn is provided by the impingement of radio-frequency energy on the corn to be popped while the same is positioned in an energy-filled metallic cavity or enclosure.....

Unfortunately, with microwave ovens having different temperatures throughout the inside of the oven, some kernels would pop, others would not, and many would burn. It wasn't until much later that microwave popcorn became something that could be sold commercially.

In 1981, General Mills introduced the first commercially available microwave popcorn under their Pillsbury brand. This popcorn needed to be stored in the freezer prior to popping. Later that year, the engineer that worked on the Pillsbury popcorn project, James Watkins, left General Mills and started his own company called the Golden Valley Microwave Foods company. He introduced his own microwave popcorn called Act I. After he figured out how to make the popcorn and oils shelf stable, he patented his new microwave popcorn invention and re-released it as Act II in 1984.

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Popcorn popped from a popcorn machine is much better than popcorn popped in a microwave.

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The microwave doesn't actually know when the popcorn is done. You have to listen to the slowing of the popcorn popping sound. When a microwave oven has a "popcorn" button, it is really just setting the microwave for the ideal temperature and time for popping microwave popcorn. It does not actually know when the popcorn is done.

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Microwave popcorn is a convenience food that consists of unpopped popcorn kernels packaged in such a way as to be popped in the microwave. There are many companies that manufacture microwave popcorn, such as Orville Redenbacher and Act II Popcorn.

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In 1981, General Mills introduced the first microwave popcorn under their Pillsbury brand. This popcorn needed to be stored in the freezer prior to popping. Later that year, the engineer that worked on the Pillsbury popcorn project, James Watkins, left General Mills and started his own company called the Golden Valley Microwave Foods company. He introduced his own microwave popcorn called Act I. After he figured out how to make the popcorn and oils shelf stable, he patented his new microwave popcorn invention and re-released it as Act II in 1984.

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Usually you put popcorn into the microwave for about 2:30 , but it depends on the popcorn, the microwave, and the heat level.


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