Maca Properties and Chemical Composition:
The Maca roots are the edible or usable part of this
plant. They are consumed decocted and in such estate
they have 13 to 16% of protein. They are rich in
essential amino acids.
The existence of four alkaloids called macaina 1,2,3 and
4 has been reported, with Rf values of 0,680, 0,346,
0,198 and 0,851, respectively. Moreover, it presents
glucocinolates, benzyl isothiocyanate, p-methoxybenzyl
isothiocyanate, carbohydrates, starch, fructose and
maltose. The former is broken down in two glucoses,
cellulose and lignin, fatty acids and tannins.
Calcium (Ca), with over 100 000 ppm or over 10%, as
macronutrients, excelled in the spectrographic chemical
analysis conducted with the maca root by Universidad
Nacional de Ingenierķa in October 1996.
Regarding phosphorus (P), the Nutrition Institute
reported values over 183,3 mg % in 1978.
Phosphorus and calcium have a central place in biology:
They are responsible for the structural functions
affecting the skeleton and soft tissues and for the
regulating functions of the neuromuscular transmission
and of the chemical and electric stimuli.
85% of phosphorus is found in the skeleton and
intervenes in the formation of ATP (Adenosin
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) presents 11 g % of proteins in
the dry root and 14 g % in the integral paste (Nutrition
Cellulose and lignin have been found in the analysis of
the roots, besides carbohydrates, maltose, fructose and
The maca starch contains calcium, phosphorus, iron,
fatty acids, and natural oils.
The following oligoelements are also found in the maca
root: potassium, magnesium, silica, iron, aluminum,
sodium, manganese, copper, tin, zinc and bismuth.