If you climb the 14,000 feet (4,400m) up from Lima to a maca field high on the Junin plateau during harvest time, you’ll see something very interesting. As you observe the workers gently digging roots from the ground, you’ll notice that there are significantly more yellow and red-colored roots than black ones. No one knows exactly why, but black maca roots are the least common color of all. In fact, they account for just about 1/6 of the annual harvest. It’s especially strange considering that the same batch of maca seeds consistently produces, year after year, roughly the same percentages of red maca, yellow maca, and black maca roots
As you can see from the images on this page, the black of these roots is found primarily in the skin. Underneath that layer of skin, all maca roots are whitish in color, similar to common radishes. That means, that all maca powders end up being an off-white color.
In Peru, after maca roots are harvested, they are taken to be dried either in the sun or in large dehydrators. Either way, before drying the roots are separated by color and size. Once fully dry they are ready to make the trip to a processing facility where they are cleaned and ground into the maca root powder that is the most common form of maca consumed today.