Glutinous rice varieties are distinguished by their glossy, waxy grains that when cooked do not expand in volume, are sticky, and remain firm. This is due to their low amylose (a starch) content. High amylose varieties are nonglutinous. Their grains expand considerably in volume to become extremely flaky. They cook dry, are less tender and harden when cooled. Rice varieties with an intermediate amylose content are tender and moist upon cooking and do not harden when they cool.
Rice varieties are ranked according to the following amylose content scale:
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