TetraColor Tropical Flakes Ingredients:
Fish Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Dried Yeast, Shrimp Meal, Wheat Gluten, Potato Protein, Feeding Oat Meal, Soybean Oil, Fish Oil, Algae Meal, Sorbitol, Lecithin, Ascorbic Acid, Inositol, Niacin, Riboflavin-5-Phosphate, A-Tocopherol-Acetate, D-Calcium-Pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Cyanocobalamin, Cholecalciferol, Blue 2 Lake, Canthaxanthin, Red 3 Dye, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Ethoxyquin.
TetraColor Tropical Flakes Ingredients Analysis
Primary ingredient is fish meal. While we have no way of measuring the quality of the meal being used, we know Tetra purchases imported fish meal in bulk on the open market, indicating its nutrient and protein content is questionable. The next listed preferred protein source, the 4th listed ingredient (Shrimp Meal), is an even lower quality protein source.
With only two potentially low quality preferred protein sources listed in the first 10 ingredients, it is safe to assume the preferred protein content of this food is less than desired.
Ground Brown Rice is a quality grain added to fish foods as a protein source. Ground brown rice uses the whole grain, not just processing leftovers.
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.
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.
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.
The remaining preferred protein sources Algae Meal is listed too far down in the ingredient list to be considered as significant contributions to the overall protein or nutrient content.
The extensive supplements listed are appreciated although the addition of synthetic vitamins could be minimized by the inclusion of preferred plant proteins as a natural vitamin sources.
The "TetraColor" labeling and marketing of this product as a color enhancing flake appears to be more marketing than reality. No significant color enhancing ingredients are noted in sufficient quantity to produce color enhancing results.
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: 1 Star
The existence of Ethoxyquin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, and artificial colors, in addition to the low preferred protein contents of the food,
as well as the questionable quality of the meals in use, prevents rating any higher.
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