The Case of the Disappearing Calories

p1000619a.jpg                                                                                                                            The calories just don’t add up on this box of microwave popcorn. Do you suppose they assume a certain percentage of unppopped kernels or is it just bad math? 

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  1. Jim C
    December 22, 2008 15:28

    Maybe microwaving destroys or evaporates some of the oils or carbs? Carbonized (burnt) residue is usually there in some small amount.
    Maybe some of the oil soaks into the bag when it’s hot?
    BTW, I remember someone showing me a clip on Youtube of some guys popping corn using mobile phones – scary!

  2. Dave Cummings
    December 18, 2008 10:33

    Sorry Chris but your sums are wrong also.
    3 Tbsp of unpopped actually makes approx. 6 cups of popped.
    No idea where the remaining calories went though, could it be they were expended in popping the corn?

  3. Chris Quinn
    December 17, 2008 11:25

    Based on the figures above, the calorific value of 1 popped cup is 1/20th the value of 3 unpoped tablespoons, so there should actually be 1 calorie from fat in a cup full.
    Labelling regulations include a certain amount of leeway – this is why Coca Cola can label their new range “Zero” when there are actually a couple of calories in there.
    Manufacturers will always show the value of the lower level of the tolerances if they look better, so if the value can be 1 cal ±1, they will print 0 rather than 2 any day!

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