Effect of maca (Lepidium meyenii) on some physical characteristics of cereal and root starches

S. S. Omran, J. Ashton, C. E. Stathopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a plant from Peru that has long been used as a food for its nutritional value and medicinal properties linked to fertility and vitality. The aim of this study is to evaluate maca and starch interactions in order to facilitate the use of this functional food as an ingredient. Four different starches (potato, corn, tapioca and wheat) were used, with maca added at three concentrations. The effect of maca addition was then determined by measuring the Water Absorption Index (WAI) of samples heated at 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90°C. The pasting properties of samples were measured and gel compression tests were performed to evaluate the effect of maca on starch gel strength. Maca had a significant (p≤0.05) effect by decreasing the WAI of starches at temperatures close to the starch pasting temperature. The viscosity of the starches decreased significantly (p≤0.05) when maca was added. Adding maca at 10% (w/w) also significantly decreased the strength of the potato, corn and wheat starch gels. Results showed that there were no detrimental effects on the starches’ physical properties at low levels of addition. Therefore, the use maca as a food ingredient is possible and should allow for a number of potential food applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1606
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Food Research Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • maca
  • starch interactions
  • texture
  • viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of maca (Lepidium meyenii) on some physical characteristics of cereal and root starches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this