Drs. Foster and Smith Color Flakes Ingredients:
Salmon Fish Meal, Wheat Flour, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Brewer's Dried Yeast, Corn Starch, Freeze-Dried Plankton, Freeze-Dried Krill, Dry spirulina Algae, Natural Astaxanthin, Lecithin, Fish Oil, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, L-Ascorbyl-2 Polyphosphate (source of stabilized Vitamin C), Methionine and Natural Coloring.
DOCTORS FOSTERandSMITH Color Flakes Ingredients Analysis
The first listed ingredient is a preferred aquatic meat protein listed at its dry weight. However, the next four ingredients are fillers and secondary protein sources, with the next preferred protein source not appearing until the 6th item in the list. This presents concerns that the primary protein content of this food may be originating from fillers and secondary protein sources instead of aquatic meat proteins or preferred plant proteins. . However, three additional preferred protein sources (Freeze-Dried Plankton, Freeze-Dried Krill, Dry Spirulina Meal), each listed at their dry weight, provides some confidence in sufficient preferred protein contents of the food.
Despite an ingredient label of "Salmon Meal", confirmation from Doctors Foster and Smith confirm this meal is comprised of the whole fish. In addition, this food contains an Ethoxyquin free statement indicating the Salmon Meal being used is not imported, further validated by a "made in the USA" statement from the manufacturer, which increases the likelihood of a higher quality product.
Studies conducted by the University of Albany’s Institute for Health and the Environment have identified significant contaminant levels in farmed salmon. “In particular, four substances that have been well studied for their ability to cause cancer-PCBs, dioxins, dieldrin, and toxaphene-were consistently and significantly more concentrated in farmed salmon.” Contamination is significant enough that the human recommendation for the consumption of farmed salmon is reduced to a “one-half to one meal per month-based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consumption advisories for these contaminants. A meal was considered to be an eight-ounce portion.” It can be safely assumed that this meal is comprised of farmed salmon.
Brewers Dried Yeast is a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient contains about 45% protein and is rich in Vitamin B. Its use in fish foods is as either as a protein source or a vitamin supplement. Studies do exist identifying 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. Its use in this food appears excessive.
Inclusion of Spirulina and Natural Astaxanthin is appreciated, both listed at their dry weight, although we would prefer a higher Spirulina concentration.
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 omega 6 content.
A manufacturer's statement exist stating this food does not use Ethoxyquin as a preservative. In addition, this food does not utilize synthetic vitamin K (K3) or artificial coloring agents.
Oscarfish.Com Rating: 4 Star
Based solely upon the preferred protein content, this food would have received a 3 star rating. However, use of quality preferred proteins combined with an obligation to reward foods who do not use questionable preservatives, artificial colors, or synthetic vitamin K, results in a 4 star rating. Excessive use of non-preferred proteins and concerns with potential containmination of farmed salmon prevent a higher rating.
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