Popcorn vs Sweet Corn: Difference and Comparison

The versatile nature of corn makes it a popular food ingredient. Many different dishes include corn in their recipes. Scientifically, there are 5 major types of corn with different features and tastes.

Popped popcorn and sugary sweet corn are two of them. They may be in the same category as cereals but still differ in many ways.

Key Takeaways

  1. Popcorn is a type of corn with a hard, moisture-retaining kernel that pops when heated, while sweet corn is a variety with a high sugar content, harvested and consumed as a vegetable.
  2. Popcorn is used primarily as a snack, while sweet corn is served as a side dish or incorporated into various recipes.
  3. Popcorn kernels have a tough, inedible hull, whereas sweet corn has a soft, edible exterior and is eaten off the cob.

Popcorn vs Sweet Corn

Popcorn is a type of snack. Popcorn is available in different flavours. The size of the popcorn seed is small. Popcorn is good for the heart. Popcorn has high protein. Carbohydrates are low in popcorn. Sweet corn is a type of vegetable. It has a sweet taste because it is harvested at its early stage. It can be added to salads. 

Popcorn vs Sweet Corn

Popcorn is a whole-grain snack. The outer layer of corn contains whole grain that helps it to pop. Popcorn contains less than half the fat compared to regular potato chips.

There are numerous variations, and caramel popcorn is one of the most common among them. It is most commonly associated with cinema halls and watching movies.

Sweet corn is a vegetable and is considered a relative of baby corn. It contains sugar because it is picked at an immature age. To experience the best flavour of sweet corn, dieticians recommend eating it soon after it is picked.

Boiled alternatives are as common as baked sweet corn on top of a cheesy slice of pizza.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPopcornSweet Corn
Colour of plants during harvestingThe color of the popcorn plant is yellow as it matures, then it turns a brown color to harvest.During harvesting, the plants of sweet corn remain green.
TexturePopcorn is light and fluffy in textureSweet corn is soft and mushy in texture
ShapePopcorn kernels are always round in shapeSweet corn pieces are always triangular in shape
Protein and CarbohydratesPopcorn contains high protein and low carbohydratesSweetcorn contains low protein and high carbohydrates 
Moisture contentThe moisture content of popcorn ranges from 13 to 14.5 percentThe moisture content of sweet corn ranges from 9.12 to 17.06 percent

What is Popcorn?

Popcorn is a simple snack that most people love.

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Earlier, it was only prepared as salty and buttery popcorn. But today, it comes in varieties of flavours like caramel, honey, cheese, and masala.

According to history, corn, popcorn, and other subspecies originated in the New World.

Before 1880, the seeds catalogue and farm bill did not mention popcorn. Then by 1900, popcorn became part of the diet in many homes in the United States.

Many farmers also started growing popcorn in larger quantities because, at low cost, they were earning whopping profits.

Popcorn seeds are smaller in size, and picking them is a laborious task. As a result, mechanical pickers are used to harvest commercial popcorn.

Popcorn is a healthy alternative to unhealthy snacks for many reasons. One of these reasons is that popcorn does not have the added sugar and oils that junk food has. 

It also does not have any trans fats or artificial ingredients, so it is a much healthier choice for a snack. Popcorn is also full of fibre, which helps you stay full longer and lowers your risk of heart disease. 


What is Sweet Corn?

Sweet corn is popular in both forms- fresh and proceed vegetables.

The first super-sweet variety of corn was released in 1961 by John Laughnan of the University of Illinois.

Sween corn requires specialized planting techniques to avoid cross-pollination with other plants.  

The aroma, flavour, and texture of endosperm are considered while checking the quality of sweet corn.

 It is harvested during an immature stage when sugar is present in it, which is one of the main reasons behind the sweet taste of corn.

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Sweet corn is served in salads and soups. It can also be boiled and made into a side dish such as creamed corn or mashed potatoes and corn. In addition, it can be used as an ingredient in Mexican dishes like Elotes.

In addition to being delicious, sweet corn also has a lot of health benefits. It has high levels of vitamin C, folate, and B6, which are all important for humans to live healthy lives.

The demand for fresh sweet corn is high in several parts of the world.

Countries like Canada, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea are the major consumers of sweet corn.

sweet corn

Main Differences Between Popcorn and Sweetcorn

  1. Popcorn and Sweetcorn have their qualities which set them apart from other kernels. While popcorn can be grown in the Midwest, it is available from late summer through early fall. Sweet corn grown in Florida can be available from December to May.
  2. Popcorns or air pop kernels must be prepared before cooking so they don’t stick or become mushy. Contrarily, sweet corn can be cooked before or after being husked but remains unchanged thanks to its thick outer layer.
  3. Popcorn does not go through a ginner, which is a device for separating grains from their husks, while sweet corn does. Popcorn has less moisture, while the opposite is true for sweet corn. This is because the shell of sweetcorn is smooth, while popcorn can be rough.
  4. The starch content is less in popcorn and comparatively more in sweetcorn, the former being a cereal snack.
Difference Between Popcorn and Sweet Corn
  1. https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.2134/jpa1991.0432
  2. https://library.ndsu.edu/ir/bitstream/handle/10365/9362/SF722_1992.pdf?sequence=1

Last Updated : 26 July, 2023

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