TetraVeggie Algae Wafers eXtreme Ingredients:
Wheat Germ Meal, Feeding Oat Meal, Corn Starch, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Cellulose, Potato Protein, Dried Yeast, Wheat Gluten, Algae Meal, Soybean Oil, Monobasic Calcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Yeast Extract, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Inositol, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, A-Tocopherol-Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin-5-Phosphate (Source of Vitamin B2), Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Palmitate (Source of Vitamin A), Biotin, Cyanocobalamin (Source of Vitamin B12), Cholecalciferol (Source of Vitamin D3), Manganese Sulfate Monohydrate, Zinc Sulfate Monohydrate, Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Cobalt Nitrate Hexahydrate, Color Includes: Blue No. 2 Lake, Yellow No. 5 Lake, Yellow No. 6 Lake, and Ethoxyquin as a preservative.
TetraVeggie Algae Wafers eXtreme Ingredients Analysis
The primary ingredient is Wheat Germ Meal with 7 additional non-preferred protein sources, including wood fiber. While Wheat Germ is the preferred component of processed wheat, a “veggie” wafer should contain actual green leafy “veggies”, algae, or kelp as primary ingredients, not exclude them entirely or only include them as minor components.
The second listed ingredient is "Feeding Oat Meal". This is not "Oatmeal" as in what you had for breakfast. This is "Oat MEAL", as in leftovers after the oats are processed for what you had for breakfast. It is classified as "animal feed grade oat meal" obtained in the manufacture of rolled oat groats or rolled oats and consists of broken oat groats, oat groat chips, and floury portions of the oat groats, with only such quantity of finely ground oat hulls as is unavoidable in the usual process of commercial milling. It must not contain more than 4 percent crude fiber. A grain product high in carbohydrates. Protein content is around 11%. Fat content is around 5%. It is added to fish foods as a filler/binder, an inexpensive source of protein, and probably because they think you'll think it is the same thing you had for breakfast.
The only preferred protein source in this food is “Algae Meal”. As the 9th listed ingredient, its content in the food is insufficient to provide significant nutritional benefit. When buying an “Algae Wafer”, you would expect for Algae to a primary component of the food, not listed after eight non-preferred proteins, binders, and fillers.
It is safe to assume the preferred protein content of this food can be qualified as less than minimal.
Cellulose (wood fiber) is an acceptable ingredient as some species of plecostomus benefit from wood fiber in their diet. However, an ingredient such as wood chips or ground wood would be preferred. It would be safe to assume that the “Cellulose” added to this food is likely some type of paper mill by-product.
Potato Protein is derived from de-starched potato juice from which the "proteinaceous fraction has been precipitated by thermal coagulation followed by dehydration" (a fancy way of saying "potato juice"). Its use in fish foods is as an inexpensive protein source.
Dried Yeast is assumed to be "Brewers Dried Yeast", 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.
When discussing artificial coloring agents, it is necessary to understand the difference between a “dye” and a “lake”. The basic difference is that dyes are water soluble and lakes are not. This food uses “Red 3 Dye”, which is water soluble. Use of “Dyes” as coloring agents can have the unintended side effect of discoloring your water. This is a result of “Red 3 Dye” dissolving from uneaten food or dye that passes through the fish’s digestion. Red 3 Dye has been labeled as a carcinogen and is linked to behavioral problems in children. In fish, this potentially would manifest itself as aggression and/or hyperactivity, although no studies have been conducted in this area.
Blue 2 Lake is a synthetic chemical produced by the fusion of sodium phenylgycinate and indoxyl in a mixture of sodamide and caustic soda. Added to fish food as a coloring agent. Serves no nutritional benefit. In humans, it is known to cause hyperactivity, chromosomal damage, nausea, high blood pressure, vomiting, breathing problems, allergic reaction and skin rashes. In fish, this could manifest as unexplained flashing behavior, aggression, and refusal to eat. This chemical has been found to cause brain cancer in rats. Blue 2 has been banned in Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, France, Belgium, Australia and the British Commonwealth.
Yellow 5 lake is one of the less egregious of the artificial coloring agents. If you drink Mountain Dew, this is where the "yellow" comes from.
Yellow 6 lake is banned in Norway and Finland. It may cause gastric upset and has been labeled a carcinogen.
This 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: 0 Star
The existence of Ethoxyquin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, and Artifical colors, in addition to the almost non-existent preferred protein content of this food, prevent this food from even receiving a rating. The food does not live up to the "eXtreme" label in its name, the "All-vegetable" moniker in it's marketing (there are zero vegetables in this food), or even the "Algae" portion of "Algae Wafer". It is a product using artificial coloring agents to produce a green center to a wafer comprised of grains and corn.
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