|Crude Protein||40% min.|
|Crude Fat||4% min.|
|Crude Fiber||3% max.|
Hikari Tropical Food Sticks Ingredients:
Fish meal, krill meal, wheat flour, alpha starch, flaked corn, rice bran, brewer's dried yeast, enzyme, cantaxanthin, asyaxanthin, L-lysine, DL-methionine, and vitamins and minerals including stabilized Vitamin C.
Hikari Tropical Food Sticks Ingredients Analysis
The primary ingredient is White Fish meal. White Fish Meal is comprised of pollock, hoki, hake, blue whiting, and cod. With a protein content of between 60% and 65%, it is a higher quality product than generic fish meal. Being a Hikari produced fish meal; we can have confidence in the nutrient and protein levels of the meal. However, not being labeled as “Whole Fish Meal” identifies that the meal is potentially compiled from leftovers after the more desirable components of the fish are used for human consumption (pending clarification from Hikari).
Krill Meal is an excellent source of proteins, amino acids, omega 3 oils, and color enhancing carotenoids. The subsequent five ingredients are fillers and non-preferred protein sources.
Flaked corn, is not a preferred product based upon digestibility concerns.
Rice bran, a preferred grain product, is the layer between the inner white rice grain and the outer hull. While comprising just 8% of total weight, Rice Bran (which includes the germ) accounts for 60% of the nutrients found in each rice kernel. A good source of dietary fiber, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus. Oils contained within rice bran spoil easily so the nutritional value of rice bran is dependent upon the packaging process and the age of the bran at time of manufacture.
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 indentifying 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.
Additional supplementation with cantaxanthin and astaxanthin, in addition to that naturally found in krill meal, ensures a food with high color enhancing properties.
There are no preferred plant proteins included within this food which means all vitamin content will be synthetic supplements.
This food does not contain Ethoxyquin or artificial coloring agents. It likely contains synthetic vitamin K (within the “vitamins and minerals” label).
Oscarfish.Com Rating: 3 Stars
While quality aquatic meat proteins are included, it is questionable that the primary protein content of this pellet comes from these preferred sources. In addition, an absence of preferred plant proteins and the likely inclusion of synthetic Vitamin K 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