Of all the colored types of popcorn, purple popcorn is probably the one that catches the eye the most. Believe it or not, this color doesn’t come from any artificial additives. Instead, it’s a natural feature of purple corn, which is a variety of corn grown in the Andean region for millennia.

Purple popcorn tastes slightly different than normal popcorn. Purple popcorn has a sweet and nutty flavor, with a tender but crunchy texture. Purple popcorn comes from purple corn and makes a healthy snack if prepared without additives like fatty oils, butter, cheese, and other toppings.

Purple popcorn has a lot in common with other popcorn varieties. It has a similar flavor and shares the same health benefits. However, there’s a bit more to purple popcorn besides its characteristic color.

How Does Purple Popcorn Taste?

Purple popcorn features a nutty sweetness and a delightfully crispy, tender texture. The kernel has a deep purple hue and is slightly smaller than normal popcorn but takes on a pale yellow when popped.

Out of all the available colored popcorn varieties, purple popcorn has the most flavor.

Purple corn is a variety of corn grown across The Andes in South America, in Perú, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. This type of corn is entirely purple on its own, from the kernels to its center.

The deep purple hue of purple popcorn is created by a natural compound called anthocyanin. This compound exists in a very high concentration in purple corn and other purple-colored fruits and vegetables like raspberry, cherry, and red cabbage.

Purple corn is distinctly sweet, more so than any other corn variety. It’s the main ingredient for many deserts in Andean countries, like the mazamorra morada in Perú. It’s also the base ingredient for the popular sweet beverage chicha morada.

But the flavor isn’t the only reason purple corn is sought after. Purple corn has a tender but crunchy texture. When it’s turned into popcorn, the result is a fluffy, delicate kernel.

Kernels are slightly larger than other colored popcorn types but smaller than normal popcorn varieties. Purple popcorn’s kernel is distinctly purple, but when it’s popped, it turns into pale yellow with purple spots.

What’s The Difference Between Purple Popcorn and Regular Popcorn?

The difference between purple popcorn and regular popcorn is that purple popcorn comes from purple corn, while regular popcorn comes from yellow or white varieties of corn. “Popcorn” is also the name for the type of corn the snack is made of.

It can be a little confusing, but popcorn refers to a specific type of corn. Field corn is the type of corn most used in the U.S. for feeding animals and making food for humans. Popcorn is a type of corn with a harder hull that pops when heated.

Is Purple Popcorn Healthy?

Purple corn is a healthy snack. Like common popcorn, it’s low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in nutrients. Purple corn has a compound that can help fight obesity and cardiovascular disease. Microwave popcorn and popcorn prepared at movie theaters contain unhealthy chemicals and fats.

Purple popcorn isn’t just tasty. It also packs a lot of health benefits on top of the already solid nutritional value that any type of popcorn offers.

To start, popcorn of any corn variety is one of the healthiest snacks you can eat. Because it’s a whole grain, it contains high quantities of many important nutrients, including:

  • Vitamins B1, B3, and B6
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese

Eating whole grains has shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease. Whole grains can also reduce inflammation, making them a good snack for people who want to lose weight.

Popcorn is also high in fiber, which besides reducing the risk of some diseases, improves digestive health and helps manage weight loss.

On top of that, purple corn has few calories. This, combined with the fullness feeling created by fiber and popcorn’s potential to lower inflammation, makes popcorn an excellent snack for people who want to lose weight.

These benefits are present in all types of popcorn, but purple popcorn adds a few to the list.

Scientists at the University of Illinois have studied the health effects of anthocyanin, the naturally-occurring chemical compound that gives purple corn its peculiar color.

They’ve found that the high concentration of anthocyanin in purple popcorn may help fight obesity, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. They noticed that this compound could decrease insulin resistance by 29-64%, making it valuable for people with diabetes.

But purple popcorn may have other uses that can improve health. The natural color of purple corn could replace many instances of the artificial food colorant red No. 40.

Of course, it must be noted that all these benefits only really apply to popcorn that has been prepared with little to no oil and limited salt.

And although air-popped popcorn is very low in calories, popcorn made in public places like movie theaters contains a lot of oil, increasing the calorie count. And that’s before taking into account extra toppings like butter or cheese.

So, if you want to replace unhealthy snacks with popcorn, make sure you prepare it with as little oil as possible and avoid buying pre-packaged products. Otherwise, there won’t be that much of a difference.


Purple popcorn is a flavor-packed variety of popcorn. It’s an excellent way to add variety to popcorn without adding toppings like cheese and butter, which usually turn a healthy snack into a not-so-healthy one.

Purple popcorn is sweeter than regular popcorn and has a tender texture. It’s no surprise that many desserts from the Andean region use purple corn as the main ingredient. If you like the flavor of purple popcorn, you may want to try some of those.

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