|Crude Protein||32% min.|
|Crude Fat||5% min.|
|Crude Fiber||3% max.|
Hikari Sinking Carnivore Pellets Ingredients
Fish meal, krill meal, alpha starch, fish oil, wheat flour, dried seaweed meal, spirulina, brewer's dried yeast, enzyme, astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, DL-methionine, L-lysine, and vitamins and minerals including stabilized Vitamin C, human-grade red 3 (artificial color).
Hikari Sinking Carnivore Pellets Ingredients Analysis
The primary ingredient is Fish meal. Being a Hikari produced fish meal; we can have confidence in the nutrient and protein levels of the meal. However, not being labeled as “Whole Fish Meal” identifies that the meal is potentially compiled from leftovers after the more desirable components of the fish are used for human consumption (pending clarification from Hikari). The second listed ingredient, Krill Meal, is an excellent source of proteins, amino acids, omega 3 oils, and color enhancing carotenoids.
Three of the top six ingredients are preferred protein sources, including a preferred plant protein (dried seaweed meal). There is ample confidence the primary protein content of this pellet originates from preferred protein sources.
Fish oil can be either a beneficial ingredient or a hazardous one. Human grade fish oil collected from specific specifies of fish and screened for mercury will provide necessary omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids as well as protein. Non-human grade fish oil may not be screened for mercury and originate from fish with reduced omega 3 and 6 content. As the fourth rated ingredient, the beneficial effects or potential risks are magnified.
Spirulina is sometimes called "The Most Nutritious Food on the Planet". Rich in raw protein and seven major vitamins: A1, B1, B2, B6, B12 (one of the best natural sources for B12, although the bioavailability of its B12 is in dispute by many researchers), C and E. It naturally contains beta-carotene, color enhancing pigments, and a whole range of minerals. In addition, Spirulina has 62% amino acid content and contains all essential fatty acids and eight amino acids required for complete nutrition. It is easily digested due to the fact that Spirulina cells do not have cellulose walls. Spirulina is only available in a dry form, so regardless of how it is listed on the ingredient label (spirulina meal, dried spirulina, or spirulina), it's ordering in the ingredient list should be accurate.
Brewers Dried Yeast is a by-product of the beer making process; this ingredient contains about 45% protein and is rich in Vitamin B. Is use in fish foods is as either as a protein source or a vitamin supplement. Studies do exist indentifying its capacity to improve fish growth rates. When used as a supplement comprising between 2% and 4% of the food, this is an acceptable product. When used as a primary provider of protein comprising 25% or more of the food it is less acceptable as protein digestibility concerns have been documented.
The high content of krill meal and subsequent supplementation with spirulina, astaxanthin, and canthaxanthin should ensure a food with significant color enhancing capabilities.
This food does not contain Ethoxyquin. However, it likely contains Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K) within the listing of “vitamins and minerals” (other Hikari products contain MSB). This food also contains artificial colors listed as “human-grade red 3”. Red 3 has been linked to behavioral problems in children. In fish, this could manifest itself as hyperactivity and aggression.
Oscarfish.Com Rating: 3 Star
The preferred protein content of this food should rate it as a 4 star food. However, the probable existence of Menadione Sodium Bisulfite and (especially) artificial colors (human grade or not) prevents a rating any higher than a 3 star.
Understanding Oscarfish.Com Ratings:
This review is an attempt to analyze the ingredients, rating them from 1 (worst) to 6 (best) in an effort to judge quality based upon three simple criteria..
- Absence of toxic, potentially toxic, and controversial ingredients
- Aquatic Animal protein and Preferred Plant Proteins as the primary protein sources
- A fully nutritious food to include necessary vitamins and minerals with natural sources of vitamins and minerals being preferred.
These basic concepts apply:
- Any food that utilizes Ethoxyquin, BHA, or BHT as preservatives, cannot rate higher than a 4 star food.
- Use of artificial colors prevents rating higher than a 4 star food.
- Any food that utilizes Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (Synthetic Vitamin K, aka K3) cannot rate higher than a 5 star food.
- Inclusion of the “Whole Fish”, or “Whole Krill” (in meal form or not) is preferred over fish meal or krill meal.
- In order to achieve a 5 or 6 star rating, the quality of the meal must be known.
- In order to achieve a 6 star rating, the “Whole Fish’ (or whole animal) must be used, either in meal form or in sufficient quantities outside of meal form.
- Inclusion of sufficient quantities of preferred plant proteins is a bonus with sufficient Spirulina content being a significant bonus.
- Use of prebiotics or probiotics is a bonus