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I want to make brown paper bags of popcorn kernels and flavouring to give as gifts, but i can't seen to get the popcorn flavouring to stick to the unpopped kernels.

How do companies that sell microwave popcorn make sure it's flavoured when it's popped in the microwave? I don't want to add anything after, just have it already flavoured when it's popped.

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Is this actually a dup? The other question is about seasoning already-popped popcorn. – Jefromi Dec 17 '13 at 21:40
This isn't a duplicate. – Holly Dec 17 '13 at 21:42
@Holly No need to shout in all caps; I've folded in your comment about seasoning it before popping and flagged this for the mods to remove the duplicate mark. – Yamikuronue Dec 17 '13 at 21:44
OK, I reopened it after seeing the comments. Still not 100% convinced that there will be much difference in the answers (the old ones talk about adding the flavoring to the unpopped kernels), but who knows, if this one gets better answers, we can close the old one and merge. – rumtscho Dec 17 '13 at 21:46
I wasn't shouting :) just didn't know how to get it noticed.. I hope someone knows how the companies do it. – Holly Dec 17 '13 at 21:49

If you inspect any commercially sold bagged popcorn, you'll notice that one side of the bag (before it's popped) is denser than the other. They put all the butter and flavourings on one side of the bag and it disperses as the corn pops. The flavoring should be on the side labeled "this side up".

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Here's a great YouTube video that walks through the process:

Basically, you use oil as the coating. The oil will adhere the seasonings you'd like to add to the kernels. They recommend 1/4 cup of popcorn to a 1/2 teaspoon of oil.

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Some commercial kinds use a butter flavoring called diacetyl, which is very potent and likely effective if just sprayed on. It's in butter too, naturally, but also in a tiny enough amount not to turn the butter into hazmat (which an ounce of pure diacetyl would be). In the end, the chemical that makes butter taste like butter is instead used directly on the popcorn.

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