Hikari Massivore Delite Ingredients
Fish meal, krill meal, starch, fish oil, wheat flour, dried seaweed meal, spirulina, brewer's dried yeast, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, DL-methionine, L-lysine, Vitamin A oil, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K), choline chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C), inositol, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, niacin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, copper sulfate calcium iodate.
Hikari Massivore Delite Nuggets Ingredients Analysis
The primary ingredient is 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). The high ash content of this food certainly lends credence to a belief that this fish meal is processed from white fish processing leftovers.
Krill Meal is an excellent source of proteins, amino acids, omega 3 oils, and color enhancing carotenoids. Krill shells are perhaps the best natural source of astaxanthin, a color enhancing carotenoid.
The non-descript ingredient of "Starch" is bothersome as we don't know what this is. We know that Hikari uses "Alpha Starch" in several of their formulas, which appears to be a modified tapioca starch. Alpha Starch would certainly explain the high calorie content of this pellet but it does not explain the high protein content. That would need to be a result of something along the lines of Soybean Isolate or Soybean Concentrate, neither of which can be considered high in calories. So the non-descript "starch" in this food would appear to be a combination of these starches. When questioned, Hikari responds that the contents of the "starch" are proprietary. I hate it when companies hide behind that word.
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. As the fourth rated ingredient, the beneficial effects or potential risks are magnified.
Three of the top six ingredients are preferred protein sources, including a preferred plant protein (dried seaweed meal). There is ample confidence the primary protein content of this pellet originates from preferred protein sources.
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.
Use of both astaxanthin and canthaxanthin is appreciated. A combination of the high content of krill meal and further supplementation with astaxanthin and canthaxanthin should make this food an excellent color enhancer.
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 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 does not appear excessive.
A difference maker in this food is use of dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract. Aspergillus niger is a common fungus that when properly prepared, produces enzymes that aid in digestion. This product is somewhere between a prebiotic and probiotic. It is commonly used in high end dog foods.
This is a high calorie food. Care must be taken in it's use as overfeeding will be easy.
This food does not contain Ethoxyquin or artificial colors. It does contain Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic vitamin K).
Oscarfish.Com Rating: 4 Stars
The preferred protein content of this food, including adequate use of preferred plant proteins, combined with use of pre/probiotics rate this as a 4 star food. Not using a “Whole fish meal” as the primary ingredient, the existence of Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, and a potentially higher percentage of non-preferred proteins than desired, prevent a higher rating.
Understanding Oscarfish.Com Ratings:
This review is 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