What Is Maca?
In the natural health world the most promising superfood to emerge in recent years is Peruvian Maca – and Gelatinized Maca is one of its forms.
Maca powder comes from a tuber (root) which is cultivated at very high elevation in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia. As you can see from the picture to the right it grows in colors ranging from white to dark gray. Normally taken as a powder or used in cooking, Maca has been used by people indigenous for thousands of years to boost strength and energy in the oxygen deficient high altitude air.
Maca became popular outside of Peru and Bolivia in the late 1990s as travelers and later importers began bringing it into the United States and later Europe. The powerful health benefits of Maca impressed thousands of people who began to use it regularly.
What Is Gelatinized Maca?
Gelatinized Maca appeared on the market about 20 years ago. It differs from Raw Maca powders in that it has been heated and put under pressure in a special process that removes all starch content.
The Advantages of Gelatinized Maca Powder Include:
- The absence of starch makes it easier to digest for people with sensitive stomachs
- It is more concentrated due to the starch content being removed
- Some nutrients, including mineral content, may be enhanced through the cooking process
The Disadvantages Are:
- The high heat and pressure destroy the glucosinolates in Maca, which are one of the most important nutrients
- The heat also destroys all enzyme content
- It can be more costly due to the processing requirements
Is Gelatinized Maca Better Than Raw Maca powder?
Gelatinization does two basic things: it removes starch to make Maca easier to digest and it kills bacteria. Since high quality Raw Maca – like we sell here – is also 99% pathogen free, the second point is not that important. In terms of the first point, Gelatinized Maca is, gram for gram, more nutritionally dense than Raw Maca, but some of those nutrients have been altered or destroyed in the process of creating it.
We’ve all used both Raw and Gelatinized Maca and have benefited from both of them. Most of our customers prefer our Raw Maca products since they do maintain their full nutrient and enzyme profile, but Gelatinized Maca is a good choice for people with sensitive stomachs. We’ve seen that Raw Maca powder upsets the stomachs of 2-5% of our customers. Symptoms included light gas or bloating after taking Raw Maca. It’s temporary, but can be completely avoided by taking Gelatinized Maca.
If you do have a sensitive stomach, Gelatinized Maca is the choice for you. If not, then we recommend that you stick with a Raw Maca powder.
Where To Source Gelatinized Maca
There are 3 main things to consider when purchasing Gelatinized Maca:
- How fresh is the product? – Maca is typically harvested in May/June. Gelatinized Maca has a shelf life of about 2 years and it must be stored sealed and in the dark to preserve it’s nutrients. Our Gelatinized Maca comes to us in small batches from our farming cooperative in Peru and always arrives via air transit within 3 days. This means that it doesn’t sit in a shipping container and stays very fresh.
- Is this product organic? - Some growers use pesticides and chemicals to increase their yields of Maca. All of our products are grown with great care and Certified Organic.
- Does the product contain a variety of Maca colors? – With Gelatinized Maca we’ve seen the best results come from powders that contain a mixture of different colored Maca roots. This is most likely due to the different properties of each of the colors. Our Gelatinized Maca contains about 40% cream, 3o% red and 30% black Maca roots.
We sell certified organic Gelatinized Maca powder in 1 Kg (2.2 lb.), 1lb. and 8 oz. sizes.