Why is it important to preserve Maca?

As a producer and the only supplier of several Peruvian Maca varieties in our region, I herewith intend to offer some explanations and resolve dilemmas. In this text, I address the issues which have not been addressed anywhere else, because Indian people high in the Andes avoid talking about them.

Why black Maca powder is not black, and red Maca is not red?

You already may assume that the colors of the actual powders vary only slightly. The color of the roots is primarily found in the skin. Therefore, all Maca powders are cream colored. Powder of the dark-colored maca plants is slightly darker, whereas scientific research has shown that these colors have somewhat different properties. Read about them here.

What is Gelatinized Maca?

From the boiled plants all starch content is removed. The process of gelatinization is actually what happens with the potatoes, rice or pasta after 10 minutes of boiling. Starch disintegrates and turns into jelly, while the plant becomes softer and edible. Raw starch products are not edible. Maca is one of them. Otherwise, untreated potatoes would be edible.

Gelatinization by extrusion increases the bioavailability of Maca and its beneficial effects. Such treatment of Maca results in the final powdered product achieving slightly lighter color, increased density, milder taste, hence easier digestion. It should be noted that after 10 minutes of boiling starch product loses around 60% of its nutrient potential, while after a few seconds of extrusion process it remains almost intact, as is the nutrient content of our gelatinized  Maca.

FITOTOLDO VS. ORGANIC

'Fitotoldo' put a stop to the tradition older than the Inca civilization. These are greenhouses where maca plants can be dried in less than 15 days, while the traditional drying in the sun can take up to four months. In the euphoria of the demand for the organic Maca, which already is organic, farmers were forced to obtain costly certificates. However, these certificates are valid for each crop for exactly 12 months. In order to avoid the risk of the expiry of the validity period before selling the product,  they use greenhouses to accelerate the drying process.

Maca has always been dried in the sun because the sun preserves its qualities and improves its taste and flavor. Sunbeams in up the 4000m altitude affect Maca magnificently. The lack of oxygen and appropriate temperature provide ideal drying conditions with the minimal oxidation and nutrient loses of the fresh plant. Faded plant dried in the greenhouse on almost 500C quickly loses its properties, smell and flavor. In fact, the need for the organic certification made the farmer from the Quechua tribe ruin the Maca plant in order to make it organic. At the same time, there is no place as pure as the homeland of Maca on this earth. What an absurd! We, farmers in the Junin region, are the only ones who still dry Maca plant in the sun. Let’s save Maca and it’s amazing properties!

BLACK MACA 

Black Maca is too expensive and rather rare in the Andes. There has always been a greater demand for the black Maca and it has been more expensive. The Chinese and the Japanese are loyal buyers of the black Maca. For them, the price is not an issue. Producing black Maca is extremely difficult. After the first season on the previously uncultivated land, it loses its intense black color. On the photo, you may see the purple plant (Zamba) sold in Peru as the black. We, in Peru, are not aware of any quantities of pure black Maca sold to any buyer in the EU. Therefore, we are at liberty to claim that Black Nuestra Maca is the only European product made of 100% pure black Maca root. Black Maca is found to have the most beneficial qualities of all Peruvian maca varieties. Products made with black Maca are very rare.

Hay que salvar la Maca,
El Gringo