What is Maca Powder?
Rainforest Foods Maca powder is grown at high altitude in the Peruvian Andes. The plant’s nutrients are concentrated in the root and lower stem – or cotyledon – which are fused together. Over a long growing season of several months this nutritional content reaches a peak, at which point the Maca is harvested. Producing Maca powder is a simple process in which the roots are cleaned, broken into small pieces and dried gradually in the clear open air. This dried product is then milled into powder.
This is exactly what can be found in Rainforest Foods Maca powder, no more, no less. It is delicious, with a distinctive, slightly gingerish flavour, and is a very versatile food. In the Rainforest Foods kitchen it is sprinkled on breakfast cereals and porridge, mixed with yogurt, added to smoothies and used as a baking ingredient. You can find the recipe for Maca and chocolate cookies here. This is a very tasty way to add Maca’s remarkable range of nutrients in a normal diet. Maca provides protein, carbohdrate, dietary fibre, several key minerals including Selenium and Calcium, and Omega oils.
The powder in Rainforest Foods Maca capsules has undergone a further treatment, to concentrate the nutrients and make them more easily absorbed in supplement form. This process is known as gelatinisation.
How is ‘gelatanised maca’ different?
Gelatinisation of Maca has nothing to do with gelatin capsule casings. In fact, the casings of Rainforest Foods capsules are made of a plant-based cellulose known as HPMC. This is suitable for vegans, as well as carrying both halal and Kosher certification. The gelatinisation process involves introducing water, which is absorbed by the plentiful starch in the Maca. The product is then heated, at which point the starch molecules are dissolved. Following this, the starch-depleted Maca is then dried.
What is left is a more concentrated Maca powder, with reduced starch and fibre content. As maca capsules can be taken independently of solid food, we believe that gelatinised Maca is an appropriate product for this use. Starch has a function in a meal, but can prove a challenge alone. On its own, starch can be difficult to digest. Another benefit of gelatinised Maca is that it is concentrated. Rainforest Foods gelatinised Maca is a 5:1 concentration – in which 5kg of Maca root are used to create 1kg of powder product. To crunch the numbers differently, each 500mg capsule contains the equivalent of 2500mg of Maca root.