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The Traditional Gelatinization Process

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Gelatinized or raw maca?... Throughout time, maca was never consumed raw. Raw maca should only be used in baked goods or recipes that call for higher heat. Gelatinized maca can be used in smoothies, as a topping and even in baked goods! Do not worry, gelatinized maca won't lose its nutrients in the oven while baking your Healthy Banana Maca Muffins.

Let's talk about how raw maca becomes gelatinized maca...

Traditional Gelatinization vs. HTST

First, remember not all "maca" varieties are the same (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon VS. Lepidium Meyenii). Now, let's dive deeper... Not all "gelatinized" maca has gone through the same gelatinization process. The gelatinization process could have taken place in the traditional way or could have gone through a "HTST," similar to a flash pasteurization process. In order for larger "herb" companies to keep up with growing demands, more often than not, "HTST" is used, depleting most, if not all, remaining nutrients in the process.

The type of gelatinization process is equally as important to knowing which variety of maca you are consuming. The quality of maca also depends on the way the maca is gelatinized. Sol Raiz Organics promises tradition. Sol Raiz is a grassroots company that is the bridge between the last purveyors of Chacon Maca from Peru and the "in-the-know" consumer of heirloom maca in the U.S.

The following is the traditional Sol Raiz gelatinization process from the high Andes of Peru:

tons of maca harvest resting on tarps with open blue sky above at high altitude plateau in the Peruvian Andes
Sol Raiz harvest during curing process.

Sol Raiz Curing Process

Sol Raiz Maca's traditional gelatinization process starts after harvest when Chacon Maca is left to naturally sun dry for up to three months. During this time, maca roots experience a biological transformation: as it dries, the more fragrant it will become; the starches convert to complex sugars, leaving maca roots with a sweet finish but low glycemic index as the fibrousness breaks down and they take on a honeyed graham cracker flavor.

In the first month of sun exposure, the maca leafs get dry and the roots keep getting drier during the remaining months of summer in the Sierra or Puna. The maca is covered with a plastic tarp during afternoons and nights for protection during hail storms.

After the maca is cured by the sun during the day and freeze dried at night as temps dip below zero, Chacon maca is stored in a a small rock house (pukutos or apachetas), where the maca loses 65% of its weight. Then, it is saved in cloth sacks in the same place surrounded by native insect repelling plants like muña. (No insecticides or herbicides are used in Sol Raiz maca)

Final Step in Gelatinization

Just prior to being milled into powder, Chacon Maca roots soak in warm water to allow water molecules to penetrate and rid the root of any remaining starches. Chacon Maca's transformation makes it over 99% absorbable by your body.

The traditional gelatinization process ensures maximum absorption of over 30 vitamins and minerals and over 60 plant based phytonutrients as well as cholesterol lowering and cellular healing plant sterols.

Dried maca roots
Sol Raiz cured Chacon Maca.

In short, traditionally gelatinized maca:

  • Has gone through a low temperature cooking process to obtain a low level of humidity while maintaining all its natural properties.

  • Easier to digest (than raw maca)

  • Dissolves better in water (than raw maca)

  • Helps you absorb a higher percentage of the nutrients present in the product because this powder is much more digestible than raw maca.

Sol Raiz Organics offers the best quality, TRADITIONALLY GELATINIZED maca on the market. It is exclusively 100% Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon and is regarded as the best maca in the world year after year.

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