Sticky rice mortar  JUN 17 2010

Chinese masons used to make mortar using sticky rice. The practice originated at least 1500 years ago.

The secret ingredient that makes the mortar so strong and durable is amylopectin, a type of polysaccharide, or complex carbohydrate, found in rice and other starchy foods, the scientists determined. The mortar's potency is so impressive that it can still be used today as a suitable restoration mortar for ancient masonry.

(via history blog)

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