Popcorn (popped corn, popcorns or pop-corn) is a variety of corn kernel which expands and puffs up when heated; the same names are also used to refer to the foodstuff produced by the expansion.
A popcorn kernel’s strong hull contains the seed’s hard, starchy shell endosperm with 14–20% moisture, which turns to steam as the kernel is heated. Pressure from the steam continues to build until the hull ruptures, allowing the kernel to forcefully expand, to 20 to 50 times its original volume, and then cool.
Some strains of corn (taxonomized as Zea mays) are cultivated specifically as popping corns. The Zea mays variety everta, a special kind of flint corn, is the most common of these.