Tropical Traditions Gold Label virgin coconut oil — a review
|March 25, 2012||Posted by eryn under Cooking, Frugal Living, Health and Safety, Natural Living, Organic, Paleo|
Coconut oil is a staple in our household. It is my go-to oil for cooking because it is a healthier option than butter or olive oil. We usually use Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, but I was recently sent a jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label virgin coconut oil to review. I was very excited to receive this, since I have wanted to try Tropical Traditions coconut oil but I had shied away from it in the past because it is more expensive than our usual brand.
The first thing I noticed was that the Tropical Traditions coconut oil arrived in a glass jar. Since we try to avoid plastic as much as possible in our household, this is something I really appreciate. I consider glass a healthier option for food storage, and I can always find a good use for a glass jar in our household.
The second thing I looked at was the label and there were more positives to be found there as well. According to Tropical Traditions, their Gold Label coconut oil has the highest amounts of antioxidants available in virgin coconut oil. Antioxidants play a vital role in protecting your cells against free radicals that can cause cancer, heart disease and other illnesses, so that’s really good news. The label also states that this coconut oil is produced by small-scale family businesses in rural areas of the Philippines. That’s good news, too, if you care about supporting a diversified economy.
The other thing I noticed was that there are slight differences between the Nutiva coconut oil and the Tropical Traditions Gold Label when it comes to nutrition. The Nutiva oil has 130 calories per tablespoon, while the Tropical Traditions Gold Label has 117 calories. They both have 14 grams of fat, but the Nutiva is higher in saturated fat (13 grams versus 11.8 grams for Tropical Traditions). I’m not a nutrionist, so I couldn’t really tell you whether these differences are significant but it surprised me that there was a difference given that they are both organic coconut oils.
We’ve been using the Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil for about 2 weeks now and I have to say that we’ve been impressed with its performance overall. We’ve noticed that it has a richer and fuller flavor when used in cooking and less of a coconut aftertaste. My husband also likes to use coconut oil in his coffee and he preferred the Tropical Traditions coconut oil for that, too.
However, the Nutiva oil definitely came out on top when we tried tasting them straight out of the jar. It had a richer, creamier flavor, while the Tropical Traditions oil had an aftertaste that made both of us want to gag.
When it comes to cost, Nutiva also has the upper hand. When I calculated in shipping to my house, buying a 5-gallon plastic pail of the Tropical Traditions coconut oil costs about 48 cents per ounce. If you want those glass jars, it costs even more. Even with a current buy one, get one free special on the 32 oz. Tropical Traditions Gold Label coconut oil, it costs about 75 cents per ounce with shipping. On Amazon.com, you can buy a 2-pack of 54-ounce containers of the Nutiva coconut oil right now for $46.50 through the Subscribe & Save program, which amounts to 43 cents per ounce.
The bottom line: For cooking, I don’t think the Tropical Traditions coconut oil can be beat. When it comes to health, I also believe it has an edge because of the higher levels of antioxidants and glass jars. As a frugal shopper, the high cost is a huge disadvantage to me, but overall I think you are getting a higher quality product with the Tropical Traditions Gold Label coconut oil.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Update: After I posted this review, a representative of Tropical Traditions contacted me with more information about their production methods that I wanted to pass along to my readers. Tropical Traditions coconut oil is handmade in small batches, not mass-produced by machine using heat and chemicals. As such, Tropical Traditions says it is very hard to compare their coconut oil to a mass-produced brand. You can read more about the production differences here.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for writing this review post. Tropical Traditions provided their product for review. My opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine. This post also contains an affiliate link. If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you. Thanks for supporting Our Natural Journey at no cost to you. For more information, please read my disclosure policy.
And that’s exactly why I buy from them. Cost is not an issue. It’s all about the quality. I’ve been buying from them for about 10 yrs. I won’t go anywhere else. I will say the oil definitely made me gag in the beginning but I got used to it. You get what you pay for.
Yes, it is the highest quality coconut oil I’ve seen.
I am a chocolate maker, have been making hundreds of boxes per week for years, I uses all natural ingredients… Nutiva was always my coco oil… They ran out of bulk stock so I was forced to try Tropical Traditions Gold Lable (supposedly their best). My five gallon pal arrived and My favorite thing is to smell the fresh coconut smell of a new bucket…NO SO… This stuff smelled like sour mayonnaise, NO exaggeration. I have 2 experienced chefs and neither ever smelled ANY oil, (let alone coco oil) that reeked like this. I immediately called a TT rep, and the gave me this verbose and fluffy talk about natural products, and sent me a free Green Label saying that it is machine produced… they completely avoided explaining why they sent me rancid oil that had NO coco scent Whatsoever! I will NEVER buy their gold label garbage, but might be forced to buy the Green label (yes, it is a better product) until Nutiva comes back into stock. Hope this helps someone…BTW, the rancid sour smell ruined my white chocolates.
Wow! Sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with Tropical Traditions. I didn’t like the taste of the Gold Label but I’ve never had any problems with any of the oils they’ve sent me being rancid like you described.
My sister just got a jar of the gold label coconut oil in the mail recently and it was rancid…she even asked me to check it too and it was icky. I have reviewed the TT coconut oil on my website before and the jar I got was fine, but I have heard that other people have had issues with the TT gold label oil being rancid too.
I’m not that impressed with Tropical Traditions oil either. I have also received rancid products to have them state that it must be me type thingIf you look on other health forums,others have gotten rancid oil too.I’ll stick with my Nutiva oil!
Sorry to hear that, John. Thanks for the feedback.
I really loved my Gold Label for the first few months. However, this fall, the jar went rancid. I cannot even stand the smell, let alone the taste (yes, fool that I am, I tried it). I, too, used it in my coffee and just ate a teaspoon every day. Funny thing, I do private duty nursing and my current patient asked me why I use it. I told her, “I can’t remember…” I also got the same non-answer when I contacted TT. Thanks for the referral to Nutiva!
Sorry to hear about this, Debbie. Thanks for sharing your experience!
I guess it’s good to know I’m not the only one that received a rancid pail of Gold Label. This is my third gallon, and the first two were great. This one arrived in a liquid state, which is expected in the summertime, but it looked brownish instead of clear. And it does not smell good at all. I still have my empty but unwashed pail so comparing the smell is really easy, and really shocking. I haven’t called them yet; I emailed customer service last night and still haven’t received a reply. I see that they only guarantee the 16-oz jars, every other size should be returned “unopened” — how would I know it is rancid if it is unopened???? That’s too much money for me to throw away. If I don’t hear back email by tomorrow night I will call, and if I don’t get satisfaction — even if I have to send the whole pail back, that would be fine — I won’t buy from them again. I think the guy who has purchased for ten years and never been disappointed is really lucky.
Yes I agree, I prefer Nutiva also but my last 54 oz jar was rancid.. so sad now what to do.. almost everyone is out of the lager jar, I see why now its a bad batch Im sure..
Of all the Tropical Traditions coconut oils, I’d think the gold label would be least likely to go bad, due to antioxidants preserving it.
I suspect the bad taste might be caused by fermentation that occurs during the manual (not machine) separation of the oil from the coconut milk.
So gold label is a completely different product compared to green label. Gold is the only variety that reportedly has this bad flavor. Nutritionally, I’m sure it’s the superior product, though.