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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

Maca is the world’s highest growing agricultural plant, growing at elevations above 4000 meters r-200-3-color-roots.png(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 of the plant 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 serving guidelines.

How Maca Is Processed

Maca roots are processed for consumption in a few 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 10-40 days. Once they are dry, Maca roots can be stored for up to 2 years. When desired, they are then boiled in water or milk until they are soft enough to eat as a porridge called mazamorra. 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 in the sun or, more recently in dehydrators. Then they are cleaned and ground into a micropowder. During this process the roots are never heated above 105F / 40 C 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 dried roots are first boiled and then pressurized in order to remove all starch content. The boiling process does alter some nutrients including enzymes and vitamin C, but makes the powder easier to digest (due to the lack of starch). The powder is then mixed into drinks or other foods for consumption.  It’s important to note that nothing is added to Maca during the process of gelatinization.

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 benefit that our customers have shared in17-maca-powder-gel-y-r-b-p.png product reviews and in testimonials.

The advantages of Gelatinized Maca are:

  • 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 fresh 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 and vitamin C content
  • Loss of glucosinolates – high heat alters these nutrients that have been associated with anti-cancer properties

Is Gelatinized Maca for You?

In our 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 instead of Raw Maca.

Does Gelatinized Maca powder get better results than Raw Maca powders?

In terms of research on Maca, both Raw and Gelatinized powders have gotten good results in several studies. On a more anecdotal level we receive positive feedback from our customers on both types of Maca.   Our overall experience is that Raw Maca powders work slightly better than Gelatinized ones. 

The most important factor in getting results from from the Maca you consume is its quality.   The soil in which it was grown, the climate, when it was harvested, how it was dried, how and when it was processed and how fresh it is when it gets to you are all more important in our opinion than “gelatinized vs. 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, capsules and chips in both Sundried and Premium versions.  Click here for our suggestions.

If you have any further questions please let us know

Enjoy the day!

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