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TetraVeggie Spirulina Enhanced Flakes Ingredients Analysis

Written by Kmuda. Posted in 2 Star Foods

Tetra Veggie Spirulina Flakes

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 48.0% min.
Crude Fat 8.0% min.
Crude Fiber 2.0% max.
Moisture 6.0% max.
Phosphorous 1.1% min

TetraVeggie Spirulina Enhanced Flakes Ingredients:

Fish Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Dried Yeast, Algae Meal, Shrimp Meal, Wheat Gluten, Potato Protein, Fish Oil, Feeding Oat Meal, Soybean Oil, Sorbitol, Lecithin, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Monobasic Calcium Phosphate, Yeast Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Inositol, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Riboflavin-5-Phosphate (Source of Vitamin B2), A-Tocopherol-Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine, Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Palmitate (Source of Vitamin A), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, 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: Beta-Carotene, Blue No. 2 Lake, Yellow No. 5 Lake, and Ethoxyquin as a preservative.

TetraVeggie Spirulina Enhanced Flakes Ingredients Analysis

The primary ingredient is fish meal. We have no way of measuring the quality of the meal being used but we know Tetra purchases imported fish meal in bulk on the open market, indicating its nutrient and protein content is questionable.

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. While a quality grain, it is not a preferred protein. As the second ingredient, its use is excessive.

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.

The next listed preferred protein source, the 4th listed ingredient (Algae Meal), is a preferred plant protein source but we are left wondering “where is the Spirulina”? Normally, Spirulina is listed as a named meal, not included in a generic “Algae Meal”. The Spirulina content of this food actually measures at 108g/KG, or about 1/10th the content of the food.

While an acceptable preferred protein, shrimp meal is of lesser quality than is fish meal.

With three preferred protein sources listed in the first 5 ingredients it is safe to assume the primary protein content of this food comes from preferred protein sources.

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.

Feeding Oatmeal is not the same "Oatmeal" 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, is high in carbohydrates, with protein content around 11%. and a. fat content around 5%. It is added to fish foods as a filler and inexpensive source of protein.

Blue 2 Lake, an artificial coloring agent, 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.

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: 2 Star

The level of preferred protein content, including a preferred plant protein that contains Spirulina (we assume), would justify a 3 star rating. The existence of Ethoxyquin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, and artifical colors, in addition to concerns associated with the quality of Tetra meal products, prevent rating it any higher than a 2 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.

  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