Gold Label Standard Announced For Virgin Coconut Oil Antioxidant Levels
Tropical Traditions's main coconut oil product has new quality standards in place to set it apart from other coconut oils they sell. With a completely redesigned label, their Virgin Coconut Oil product is now called "Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil," containing the highest amounts of antioxidants.
Tropical Traditions founders Brian and Marianita Shilhavy were the first ones to export "Virgin Coconut Oil" from the Philippines in 2001, defining the term "Virgin Coconut Oil" on their websites since there was no industry-wide standard or agreed upon definition for such a label. Their definition has subsequently been used by most manufacturers and distributors of Virgin Coconut Oil.
Some groups tried to improve upon this definition by including a "no heat" condition for processing Virgin Coconut Oil. But in 2005 Professor Vermont P. Dia of the University of the Philippines conducted a study with some of his graduate students to analyze various Virgin Coconut Oils produced using different methods, with all of them using little or no heat in the processing. Their results were published in December 2005, in The Philippine Agricultural Scientist, and their results became the standard for Virgin Coconut Oil quality in the Philippines. In 2006 Tropical Traditions had Professor Dia and his students test their Virgin Coconut Oil which is made using the traditional method and includes low levels of heat at the end of the process. It was not among the samples tested in the Philippines in 2005 since the oil is marketed exclusively in the US. They discovered that Tropical Traditions' Virgin Coconut Oil tested much higher in polyphenols, an antioxidant, than any of the low-heat or no-heat samples they had tested previously, giving further proof that low-tech traditional methods are not inferior to modern mass-produced machine methods emphasizing low or no heat.
While almost all Virgin Coconut Oils sold in the US are mass-produced, Tropical Traditions still produces their Virgin Coconut Oil by hand in small batches by family micro enterprises. Most of them have been producing Virgin Coconut oil for over 6 years. They have learned what it takes to produce the highest quality oil, such as how to hand pick the best coconuts from each harvest.
Their most recent discovery in 2007 came when certain groups in rural areas had problems with water sources. Water is needed to make the coconut milk from which the oil is extracted. Using true Filipino ingenuity, they started collecting and using the pure nutritious coconut water from inside the organic coconuts instead. Independent laboratory analysis shows that this new method produces even higher levels of antioxidants than first tested in 2006 by Professor Dia. This enhanced Virgin Coconut Oil with the highest levels of antioxidants is now in the US market under the Tropical Traditions Gold Label brand.