Question: “What is gelatinized maca and how does it compare to other kinds of maca? Thanks, Raymond List
Thanks for the question. It’s actually one of the most common questions we receive from people interested in Maca so we decided to make our answer public by posting it here on our website.
Before answering “What is Gelatinized Maca?” it’s important to understand exactly what Maca is, where it grows and how it’s normally used. Maca is the world’s highest growing agricultural plant, growing at elevations above 4000 meters (14,000 feet) in the central Andes. The plant has been used for 1000s of years by natives of the area. Maca’s high nutritional density and energy enhancing properties have made life possible at these extreme high elevations. The majority of nutrients in Maca is found in the root and that is what is used for food. People from the area where Maca grows eat up to 50 grams daily.
How Maca Is Processed
Maca roots are processed for consumption in 3 different ways. Understanding these should help to answer the question: what is Gelatinized Maca?
- Traditional Process – Traditionally Maca roots are harvested in May or June then left in the sun to dry for 10 days to 2 weeks. Once dry the roots are stored for up to 2 years. Dry roots are hydrated overnight and then boiled in water or milk until they are soft enough to eat as a porridge. They are also sometimes made into a fermented drink called “maca chicha.”
- Raw Powder Process – Since the 1960s, Maca powder has been made for the export market. In this process Maca roots are harvested and dried as mentioned above. Then they are cleaned and ground into a micropowder. During this process the roots are never heated above 45 C (115 F) thereby preserving the maximum amount of nutrients. Raw Maca powder is then mixed into drinks or other foods for consumption.
- Gelatinized Powder Process – Since the 1990s Gelatinized Maca has been produced. The sun dried roots are first boiled and then pressurized in order to remove all starch content. The boiling process does alter some nutrients, but does make the powder easier to digest (due to the lack of starch). The powder is then mixed into drinks or other foods for consumption. Maca recipes
The main difference between raw Maca powder and geltatinzed Maca powder, then, is that the latter has been cooked and has had the starch removed. This can be helpful for a variety of reasons as you can see below.
What Is Gelatinized Maca Good For?
Gelatinized Maca, like Raw Maca is associated with a wide variety benefits that you can read about under our Maca Benefits section. It does have some advantages as well as disadvantages.
The advantages of Gelatinized Maca are:
- Easy digestion – because the starch is removed Gelatinized Maca works the best for anyone with a sensitive stomach
- More concentrated nutrients – the lack of starch means that gram for gram, Gelatinized Maca is more concentrated that Raw Maca powders
- Some activated nutrients – heating the Maca roots amplifies some nutrients, including metabolites and minerals
The disadvantages or Gelatinized Maca are:
- Loss of enzymes – high heat destroys all enzymes, which limits the full absorption of Maca powder
- Loss of glucosinolates – high heat alters these sensitive hormone balancing nutrients making them less effective
Some Final Words On Gelatinized Maca
In our 10 plus years of enjoying and distributing Maca we’ve learned that Gelatnized Maca works best for anyone with a sensitive stomach. If that applies to you, we recommend that you go with Gelatinized Maca over Raw Maca. Our Gelatinized Maca is certified organic and contains a combination of Red, Black and Cream colored Maca roots. We sell Gelatinized Maca in three varieties, Red, Black and a Blend (Cream, Red and Black). Click on the image to the right for more details.
We hope that helps answer, “What is Gelatinized Maca?” Please contact us if you have any further questions.
Enjoy the day!