Does Gelatinized Maca Taste Better Than Raw Maca


If you’re interested in trying maca root powder for the first time you might be wondering what flavor it has.  After all, maca is an unusual food.  In fact, did you know that it only grows well in the high mountains of Peru and Bolivia?  In  those regions of the Andes maca root has been eaten as a staple of the standard diet for thousands of years.   And it does have a unique taste.   In this article we’ll discuss what maca tastes like and specifically what gelatinized maca tastes like when compared to raw maca.   

What Is Gelatinized Maca?

Maca roots grow in rocky, loose, dry soil at very high elevations.  When harvested they are about the size of a small beet.   Traditionally maca roots are either boiled or baked for consumption.  But the Peruvian government has protected maca as a heritage product and prohibits the sale of whole maca roots, either fresh or dried, outside of Peru.   The result is that most of the maca available outside of its native region is in the form of maca powder.  (At The Maca Team, we also offer maca chips, which are as close to whole maca roots as legally possible).  

Maca powder comes in two basic forms, raw and gelatinized.  As you can imagine from the title, raw maca powder comes from maca roots that are not heated during drying or processing.   This is to preserve nutrients like vitamin C and enzymes at their maximum levels.    Gelatinized maca, on the other hand, is heated during processing.   The heat is combined with pressure to reduce starch content in the final product, which in turn makes gelatinized maca powder easier to digest.   By the way, it does not contain any type of “gelatin” or other ingredient.  “Gelatinization” is simply the name of the process used to remove the starch.   

People with sensitive digestion certainly prefer gelatinized maca over raw maca and there are some other benefits associated with it as well.   We’ve written a thorough article covering gelatinized maca that you may like to have a look at yourself.  

What Does Gelatinized Maca Taste Like?

It’s a bit difficult to pin down the exact taste of gelatinized maca.  In a certain sense, it’s something that you really have to experience for yourself.  But in general terms, gelatinized maca powder has a subtle earthy taste that has elements of malt or caramel flavor.  Most people find it pleasant and warm.  And other people really do not care for the taste and choose to take maca capsules or liquid maca extracts instead.   various-gelatinized-maca-powders

One thing to note is that maca blends well with other flavors.  In a smoothie, for example, it does not dominate.  And it goes particularly well with chocolate and nutty flavors.   We have a large variety of recipes using maca  that customers have sent us over the years.  These recipes continue to come in and that is a testament to the fact the people continue to enjoy the flavor, as well as the benefits of maca.   

Here are a couple more notes when it comes to the taste of maca powders:

  • Red maca tends to taste the sweetest
  • Black maca is often the most mild
  • Yellow maca is the most neutral
  • All of our premium products are flash dried rather than sundried and have a much stronger, spicier and more pungent taste than standard maca.

How Is It Different Than Raw Maca?

The taste of raw maca is actually quite similar to that of gelatinized maca.   It however tends to be a bit stronger in flavor.  It can also have subtle hints of spiciness.   This is the type of spiciness that you might experience in other roots such as horseradish or wasabi, although it is much milder than either of these.   

Also, gelatinized maca can have a fuller flavor than raw maca.  This is due to the heating process that lends a sort of “toasting” to the gelatinized maca powder that enriches the overall taste.  

How Can You Hide The Taste Of Maca?

If you already have some maca and are wondering how to hide the taste of it, we do have a few suggestions

  • Try one of our amazing maca recipes 
  • Use cinnamon when you take maca – this can really help mask the maca flavor
  • Take maca in small amounts of liquid, sort of like a “shot” of alcohol


Whether or not something tastes good depends on the individual and maca root powder is no different.   Gelatinized maca powder is a relatively neutral tasting food that combines well with other flavors and offers an excellent nutrient boost.   It is very slightly sweet and doesn’t leave an aftertaste.   It is milder than raw maca and recommended for anyone who has sensitive digestion.   For people who don’t end up liking the taste at all, capsules and extracts are available.  We hope this answers your questions about the taste of gelatinized maca.  If you need any other support please let us know.  We’re always happy to help.

Enjoy the day!



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