MacaPro® Raw Gelatinized Maca Powder 6:1 has been recently tested for controlled substances by an independent certified European laboratory and it did not show the presence of stimulants and/or controlled substances.

MacaPro® is a line of nutritional supplements using the whole raw maca root grown exclusively in the Andean highlands of Junin, Peru. It is used for sport nutrition and general well-being with extraordinary results.

The mineral-rich volcanic soil, extreme temperatures, light and other factors where the maca for the MacaPro® line is grown and the ancestral and modern organic farming practices, harvesting, selection, storage and processing, provide the MacaPro® line extraordinary attributes for supplementation and dense nutrition.

Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) has been a staple food for the people of the Andean highlands in Peru and parts of Bolivia since pre-colonial times. It grows at altitudes of over 10,000 ft under harsh conditions to which the plant has adapted well. It stores over 30 minerals, amino acids, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and vitamins. The root looks and tastes like a radish and comes in color black, red-purple and yellow. The black and red-purple colored maca root usually host the highest concentration of nutrients and the yellow maca shows the least level of nutrients and compounds responsible for the known benefits of this superfood.

MacaPro® is the star product of UHTCO Corporation, a Canadian supplier of high quality, natural health supplements and superfoods from Peru under its brand and private label.

“I have believed in the products my family has brought to the market for more than 15 years, but I had never really implemented them as part of my daily diet and exercise routine,” said Nick Urena, a son of UHTCO’s president and CEO, Jorge Urena. “I knew the Raw Gelatinized Maca 6:1 is great for energy, hormonal balance, and overall well-being and learned of the good reviews offered by customers that obtained good results, but I had never taken it on a regular schedule.” Nick, is a six-feet tall fit Millenial that started adding MacaPro® to his daily diet in January 2019 as a new year’s resolution and everyone has noticed positive results not just in bodybuilding but overall well-being, energy level, and concentration ability. “I am living proof that an average skinny guy can completely change his life with a change in nutrition and supplementation,” says Nick. “Maca contains an impressive array of bio-active components which contribute to its numerous benefits for hormonal balance, energy and overall well-being,” says Jorge. It seems “the synergy of all the nutrients contained in the Maca root work mainly in the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, assisting the body in the production of hormones, thus providing hormonal balance and all the benefits derived from it.

And maca provides energy in a unique way. “It does not act like a drug with stimulant effects that will definitely affect your nervous system, but mainly by replenishing essential nutrients to the body as is required, plain and simple,” said Jorge.

“Maca has been studied and researched for many years, and it has been established that crops coming from Junin are safe with no known toxicity, side effects or possible interactions whatsoever”, says Jorge.

However, in 2014, Peru faced a setback over price rises and supply shortages and fears of “bio-piracy” affecting the provenance and fair market prices for organic maca. High demand for the root attracted some people to plant the appreciated ancient root in other parts of Peru and also in other regions overseas, mainly in China. The result? The maca grown outside Junin has not shown the same nutritional content and benefits.

“Even though the products resembled the original maca root, none of them provided the benefits known and studied for many years,” said Jorge. “Different soil, different growing conditions, and you get a different end product, without the biochemical compounds of the root grown in Junin.”

Buyer beware

When selecting a maca supplement Jorge Urena and his partner Markus Pandur, who runs the European office out of Austria, offer the following tips.

Colour: If the product is light beige or yellow, it was processed with the maca with the lowest nutritional profile compared to the darker roots. The black and purple maca roots are rare and scarce but with a much higher nutritional profile.

Taste: If the product is sweet to the taste and of light color, yellow roots were used in the manufacturing. Yellow maca roots are normally sweeter than the black and purple roots. If the product tastes like horseradish, a bit spicy and strong, the product was manufactured from fresh, not dried roots. Fresh roots in their natural state are rich in nutrients and enzymes, but the benefits sought after in maca, like hormonal balance and energy, are not available as the bio-compounds that bring these benefits forward have not been fully developed on fresh roots.

Aroma: If “moldy” or a bit off, the product is probably not from a good source. Good maca products should have a pleasant nutty, butter-scotch like aroma if made from dried roots or horse radish-like aroma if made from fresh roots.

Texture: The product must be soft like baby powder. If it appears rough to the touch or a bit granulated, it may contain fillers such as magnesium stearate, silica or another substance.

Process: Gelatinized or regular powder, which one is best? Gelatinized maca is usually processed with high heat while regular powder is not. Gelatinization transforms the raw starches of the root making them more digestible and easier to absorb. But it is an industrial process usually made in an extruder and high heat is definitely required to achieve the desired results. While this process makes the nutrients more absorbable the high heat destroys most of them. A regular maca powder can be processed without using temperatures as high as a gelatinized powder. Even though the nutrients may not be as easy for the body to absorb, it will maintain its natural nutritional profile as long as the product was grown and processed correctly. There is another old, yet innovative method of processing maca called Raw Gelatinization Process, based on an ancient practice where most of the starches are removed by precipitation without the use of high heat, leaving all enzymes and biochemical compounds intact.

Organic claims: If the product is claimed to be organic, proper organic seals must be placed on the label and a certificate from an independent third party should back up those claims to ensure organic traceability all the way from the distributor to the processor, and to the farmer.

Overall, if the product is made with the right raw material and the right process, it should work.

UHTCO Corporation GmbH, the EU branch, will exhibit at Organic Food Iberia, June 6-7 and at Natexpo, Paris October 20-22.