How do you keep popcorn from getting stale?
Does anyone know how the commercial manufacturers help the popcorn from getting stale without adding unnatural preservatives? Is it bad to add fresh herbs (garlic=botullism?) and fruit to popcorn if you want it to stay out for a long time (day or week)?
Enclose it in an airtight cannister or plastic zip bags to store and only put out a dish at a time -- as much as might be eaten in a day. I have a popcorn-cereal snack mix recipe I routinely make in December for the holidays and it stays good through New Years. I use dried, not fresh, herbs and fruit.
By 'stale' do you mean loosing its crunch, like crackers that have been sitting in the pantry for 6 months? That's basically a moisture issue.
Staleness in bread is a different matter. There the starches crystalize with time, so the bread becomes hard without drying out. Sugars, fat, and proteins slow that down.
Preservatives have a different purpose, preventing fermentation and the growth of mold.
So if keeping the popcorn dry is the key, then dry seasonings are a must. For a garlic flavor I would use garlic powder rather than mashed or sliced fresh. Powder is also easier to distribute evenly.
I am a popcorn fanatatic I put mine in a big acrylic ceral container- with a brown sugar bear( a little clay bear you put in brown sugar so it doesnt cake)