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Gelatinized Maca Powder- How It's Different

“What is Gelatinized Maca powder and how does it compare to other kinds of Maca? This is one of the most common questions we receive and we’re happy to answer it in full here. 

Understanding Maca

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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, though we recommend a much smaller daily intake.  Our Maca dosage guidelines.

How Maca Is Processed

Maca roots are processed for consumption in 3 different ways. Understanding these helps explain how Gelatinized Maca is different.

  1. Traditional Process – Traditionally Maca roots are harvested in May – July and 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.”
  2. 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. See our Maca recipes page.
  3. 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. 

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 Powder 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:gel-powder.jpg

  • Easy digestion – because the starch is removed Gelatinized Maca works the best for anyone with a sensitive stomach or trouble digesting starch
  • More concentrated nutrients – the lack of starch means that gram for gram, Gelatinized Maca is more concentrated that Raw Maca powders. It takes 4 kg of raw roots to make 1 kg of Gelatinized Maca powder
  • 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

Is Gelatinized Maca for You?

In our 10 plus years of enjoying and distributing Maca we’ve learned that Gelatnized Maca works best for anyone with a sensitive stomach or for anyone who has trouble digesting starch.  If that applies to you, we recommend that you go with Gelatinized Maca over Raw Maca.

Which Gelatinized Maca Powder to Choose

All of our Gelatinized Maca powders come to us in small batches from our farming cooperative in Peru, are packed in air and light resistant packaging and arrive in our customers hands within 3-4 months of being produced. This makes them the freshest on the market. In addition they are all 100% GMO-free, certified organic and fair trade.

We sell several types of Gelatinized Maca powder and capsules:  Gelatinized Red, Gelatinized Black and Gelatinized Blend. If you’d like to find out which one we recommend specifically for you, please visit our page entitled “Which Maca is Best?”

If you have any further questions please let us know

Enjoy the day!

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