OSI Discus Flake Food Ingredients Analysis

Written by Kmuda. Posted in 3 Star Foods

OSI Discus Flakes


Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 45%   Vitamin A min. 8000 IU/lb
Crude Fat min. 5%   Vitamin D min. 800 IU/lb
Crude Fiber min. 4%   Vitamin E min. 100 IU/lb
Moisture max. 8%   Ascorbic Acid
(Vit. C)
min. 200 mg/lb
Choline min. 500 mg/lb   Inositol min. 100 mg/lb



OSI Discus Flake Food Ingredients:

Fish Meal, Wheat Flour, Brine Shrimp, Torula Dried Yeast, Shrimp Meal, Algae Meal, Spirulina, Fish Protein Concentrate, Fish Oil, Carotene, Natural and Artificial Colors, Lecithin, Vitamin A Palmitatte, DL- a -Tocopherol acetate, D-Activated Animal Sterol, Thiamin Mononitrate, Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Calcium d-Pantothenate, Inositol, Niacinamide, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Ethoxyquin (as an antioxidant). 

OSI Discus Flake Food Ingredients Analysis

The primary ingredient is fish meal. We have no way of measuring the quality and nutritional value of the meal being used as the source is unknown. As a result, the quality and subsequent nutritional values are questionable. Use of fish meal, instead of “whole fish meal” indicates the primary ingredients are fish processing leftovers (scales, skin, bones, internal organs) deemed unsuitable for human consumption.

Brine Shrimp appears to be listed at its wet weight. Once it is dried, as it must be to create a flake food, it should likely be located further down the list. However, with the pratice of how Brine Shrimp is utilized in the industry (in a dry form, weight form, or both), we'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume it's listed at its dry weight.

As a general statement, shrimp meal is a lower quality protein source than is fish meal. The 8th listed ingredient, Fish Protein Concentrate, in theory, is a higher quality product as it is manufactured from a better quality initial product under more hygienic conditions.

The 6th listed ingredient, Algae Meal, is the first preferred plant protein listed in sufficient quantity to provide substantial nutritional value. A listed species of algae would help define nutritional benefits. 

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.

There are three preferred proteins listed in the first six ingredients vs. two non-preferred protein choices. However, the inclusion of Fish Protein Concentrate may be an indicator of a poor quality fish meal. Confidence in the overall digestible protein content of this food is marginal.

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 content.

This flake food contains each of the three least desired ingredients in fish food. Ethoxyquin, “artificial colors”, and Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (synthetic vitamin K. )

Oscarfish.Com Rating: 3 Star

The preferred protein content of this food, including substantial use of desired aquatic plant proteins (algae meal and spirulina), fully justify a 3 star rating. Quality questionability of the fish meal in use, preferred protein to binder, and non preferred protein ratio, combined with inclusion of Ethoxyquin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, and artificial colors prevents it from being rated higher.

Understanding Oscarfish.Com Ratings:

This review is an attempt to analyze the ingredients, rating them from 1 star (worse) to 6 star (best), in an effort to judge quality based upon three simple criteria.

  1. Absence of toxic, potentially toxic, and controversial ingredients
  2. Aquatic Animal protein and Preferred Plant Proteins as the primary protein sources
  3. 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