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malrift

Trialling a new flake food

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I have been trialing a new Qld made flake food which contains no grains or soy. It is made from organic human grade ingredients. Here is a list of the ingredients.

Fish Meal, Fish Oil, Krill, Cassava, Spirulina (5%), Chlorella, Kelp, Spinach, Alfalfa, Brewers Yeast, Broccoli, Kale, Nettle Leaf, Garlic, Paprika, Beetroot, Aniseed, Marigold, Astaxanthin, Vitamins A, Vitamins D3 t

I have been getting awesome results. It is called PURE. Its only available from 1 place at the moment so I would need admins approval to name the store. It comes in three formulations in which the ingredients are adjusted. They are Cichlid, colour and vege.

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The analysis hasn't been done yet and the ingredients are still being finalized. They have added calcium carbonate powder to it and there will be some others added before it is finalized.

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14 minutes ago, malrift said:

Fish Meal, Fish Oil, Krill, Cassava, Spirulina (5%), Chlorella, Kelp, Spinach, Alfalfa, Brewers Yeast, Broccoli, Kale, Nettle Leaf, Garlic, Paprika, Beetroot, Aniseed, Marigold, Astaxanthin, Vitamins A, Vitamins D3 t

If it had quinoa that ingredients list would be a description of a hipster's breakfast.

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Looks like they've replaced grainy fillers and soy with cassava (aka. yuca, manioc).
In order to sell it as grain/soy free.
But that is still a carb heavy/ nutritionally empty/terrestrial filler IMO.
(ie. bulking out a fish food with 'fancy potato'.)
Not saying this is bad, btw.  Just pointing out it seems like a marketing decision/spin rather than a nutritional one - to me.

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So much spin in fish food marketing . . . . . . so little science.

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Its reduced the waste in my aquariums by a huge amount. Cassava itself has plenty of benefits including helping good bacterias, extra calcium, packed with vitamins and minerals. High in potassium and low in fat. 

Unlike many of the grains thats added.

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Sorry I just can't agree that cassava is "packed with nutrients". Compared to wheat husk  and soy byproducts it has more nutritional value - sure. But it's really not a particularly high source of anything. (Except carbohydrate.)

If it was about vitamin loads or anything there's dozens of better vege options. 

My guess on the situation is that it's being used so people think "oh exotic vegetables" rather than thinking "ok cheap source of massive carbohydrate".

Again I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing. There is always going to be something of a filler in dry foods - so it's good knowing what it is. 

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I'm also using this locally made flake now guys and am really impressed with it, it has quickly become the most used food in my Malawi fishroom.

Cheers, Doug

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Nothing in there is contrary to anything I've said.

Examples - If you were formulating something to hit a specific potassium level you could use half as much spinach. 

Vitamin C? Spinach has 50% more.

Vitamin K? Spinich again! Has 400% more. 

Cassava is a staple food in many regions where malnutrition is a massive problem.

I'm out. 

Edited by Ducksta
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I'm waiting eagerly for the new locally made flake food you will undoubtedly use your vast nutrition knowledge to produce duck ;)

In the meantime I'll keep using this one :)

 

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I’m all for supporting locally made products, but only if they stack up favourably against the overseas products . . . . . .  I've too much time, money and emotional energy invested in my fish to compromise on what I feed them.

 

For those interested in understanding a little more about how to gauge the credentials of any food you might be contemplating, Oscarfish.com is a good starting point.  Here’s a link to their explanation on ingredients. 

http://www.oscarfish.com/fish-food-ingredients.html
 

Good info there on ingredients such as "fish meal" and the carbohydrate fillers.  In their section describing plant proteins they say

“When attempting to identify a food for herbivores, the first ingredient should be a plant product in a meal form, such as "Spirulina Meal" or "Kelp Meal". If the first ingredient is "Fish Meal" and then Spirulina or Kelp is listed later in the list as the third, fourth, or later ingredient, then the actual acceptable vegetable content of the food is very low. The food is just a standard fish food marketed as an herbivore/algae flake/pellet/wafer. Preferred plant proteins are actually a minor ingredient.” 
:wink2:

The Oscarfish website also provides ratings for some of the larger international brands, and explains how they arrived at those ratings. 

If you want to dig further, there are plenty of other resources available on the net.  Best to look for info generated by independent people or organisations.  Generally the stuff produced by the manufacturers or associated companies is full of spin – much of it “half truths”.

Edited by humbug
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I’ve just spent a bit of time hunting for info on cassava as a fish food ingredient.  Seems it’s used in a handful of commercial aquarium fish foods – Hikari being the best known.  It’s listed using a variety of different names – cassava, tapioca, alpha starch, etc. 

The technical papers explain that the production of fish foods requires the use of binder materials to basically hold the other ingredients together.  These binders can either be “nutritive” or “non-nutritive”. Tapioca (cassava in its dried form) is listed amongst the “non-nutritive” binders. 

This is an example of the “spin” we see associated with pretty much every fish food on the market.  “NO GRAIN, NO WHEAT, NO SOYA”. Hmmm – probably a true statement,  but so what?  Oscarfish would suggest that soy is a more desirable ingredient to find in a fish food ingredient list.  One of the technical papers I’ve just reviewed lists some wheat products as “nutritive” fillers.  Perhaps highlighting the use of cassava isn’t such a clever marketing ploy!!!

Another example I’ve seen of this recently was a retailer pushing the virtues of an imported brand of premium food, relatively new to this country. One of his major selling points was that it isn’t irradiated.  Hmmm – yes, I’m sure that’s an accurate statement.  But it’s still misleading, with the intent to increase sales.  It’s suggesting that it’s somehow better than competing products on the market.  I’m personally not aware of any major brand of food in Australia which is now being irradiated. 

As with everything these days – it pays to be an informed consumer.

Edited by humbug

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Cassava was highlighted by ducky who brought it up and compared it with spinach which is also used in the flake. So it is not being used as a marketing ploy. And I am greatful he bought it up to allow the manufacturer to look at it and find a better replacement. 

The problem with wheat products is they are not easily digested and used by the fish. They come out as waste in the excretia. Cassava is more easily digested. We are already seeing a massive deduction in waste in our testing tanks. I was a breeder approached by this manufacturer to test and trial this food. 

The list of ingredients i placed on here is not in order of highest to lowest. As it is still in development stage. They are also sourced from an organic human supply business not a pet food ingredients form. So the ingredients are of the highest quality available here in Australia.

Humbug you are not the only one who has spent alot of money on fish and many of our lines are sourced through the same sources.

By how I read what your wrote ducky your implying cassava is the cause of malnutrition in those areas. When in fact cassava is the first crop brought in too feed those in famine as to grow it requires less water and fertiliser to get a good yeild to feed people. It is one of the first foods used to fight malnutrition. I apologize if I read what you said wrong. 

 

I really wish sometimes that those who like to bag a product for a single ingredient would do something about it and make their own brand.  It would be awesome to see their knowledge put into action rather than just put it in words. It would honestly be great to see.

I will be taking all ideas back to the company that makes this flake to see what improvements can be made as thats why I posted it here to gain some constructive ideas for this food.

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This is all friendly debate/banter to me, guys.
If anyone thinks I've been unfairly harsh or insulting - feel free to tell me I'm an arse and we can all move on.

But to clarify - from the the outset, I haven't said I think this formula is wrong or bad or worse than anything else.

The point I raised initially about the cassava was that I would guess it is included as the bulking/bonding agent - purely to make the claim 'grain and soy free' - a "marketing" move IMO.

Obviously dry foods all need a bulking/bonding agent. That can't be escaped.  And most of these are not added for their nutritional profile.  So that needs to be acknowledged. Something is needed to make sure your flake food isn't powdered food!

However, if someone can provide real info about any real benefit of cassava in fish food I'd be glad to hear them. (Apart from a marginally better nutrition profile than some wheat and soy by-product - but which I still wont be convinced is a good profile, IMO.)

Personally, from the POV of Australian manufacturing I definitely find the choice of cassava interesting - since it is not a crop that I would associate with any abundance here.  That's why it stood out for me. 
All the touted benefits of cassava are actually better met with regular potato (http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/potato.html) or sweet potato (http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sweet_potato.html), and without the risk of cyanide poisoning. But sticking mashed potato on a fish food label might get some funny looks :-D
 

(Did you know raw cassava is used by 'primitive people' to stun/poison fish?  Does that fact alone not make you wonder how we got to the point that someone is making our fishfood from that same plant now?)

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Yep i know that but if its properly processed its safe for human cunsumption. Hence why they buy the human grade not a cheap grade. 

There is a 94 page paper written on cassava in animal foods including fish.

Both myself and manufacturer have had a bit to do with one of the agencies that help people in trouble especially famine and war which go hand in hand. Which is why we know how its used in human consuption for treatment of people suffering in famine.

Don't worry I asked the manufacturer the same question why cassava and he never mentioned it as a binder. As when he first looked at his list if ingredients and took it too the people who make flake in Qld they told him it wouldn't bind together even with the cassava.

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No intention of particularly bagging this or any other product on my part – just highlighting the misleading claims regularly made by manufacturers and retailers in an attempt to flog things in a very competitive market.

It took me 15 seconds to find this product advertised and see the claims being made.  While “NO GRAINS NO WHEAT, NO SOYA” may be technically correct (albeit perhaps misleading), claims that “without the use cheap grain fillers like Soya and Wheat which are non digestible to fish and increase the amount of fish waste” may be a trifle harder to defend if a competitor should decide to report it to Fair Trading.

Heaps of threads on this and other forums about the supposed benefits/disadvantages of other brands.  Hours of entertaining reading
:no:

As to developing a new food – I personally think that the market is saturated with an array of good quality foods, many produced by large companies with a massive investment in R&D.  There are some premium foods available overseas which stack up very well on analysis and get rave reviews (for instance Northfin) which aren’t available here.  Why not?  The market is just too competitive for it to be worth a wholesaler importing them.  It’s also the reason for the spin we see in fish food advertising. 

The point of my post was to encourage people to DO THEIR HOMEWORK and make informed decisions, rather than get caught up in that spin.  Plenty of independent resources out there to help!!!

Edited by humbug
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I am trying to find a link to the article for you. I am also going to look into how much of the plant is used in the human grade of this product as the leaves are the most nutritious part

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To be honest, I suggest it makes more sense to focus on the other ingredients before worrying about the nutritional values of the fillers used.

 

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How can saying no wheat and soy be just a spin if it doesn't contain any.

 There was an article written for a well known widely used food that said wheat and grains cannot be utilised by fish. 

Even though we are actually seeing in glass bottom tanks almost no waste after feeding this flake. The manufacturer has had a tonne of feedback on this flake everyone saying less waste in their aquaria from 1 tank hobbyiest to larger breeders. 

I also know how much research this manufacturer has done on this food before even attempting it.

 

 

 

 

 

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So humbug whats the opinion on the other ingredients. I will also add there is more than 1 type of fish meal used. Meaning species of fish it is made from.

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2 hours ago, malrift said:

So humbug whats the opinion on the other ingredients. I will also add there is more than 1 type of fish meal used. Meaning species of fish it is made from.

I posted a link to an article which answers that question far better than I can.  If I say more I'll be accused of bagging the product.

Re spin - its the same as suggesting a product is good because its "not irradiated".  It leaves a false impression in people's minds that other products are.  Saying a product doesn't contain soy or wheat tries to suggest that products that do contain those ingredients are bad.  I don't believe that the independent, non-biased research indicates that to be the case. 

Edited by humbug

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The laws on labelling pet foods from highest quantity t o lowest changed over a year ago it is no longer a requirement. 

Also as I said this list on this product is in no particular order as they are waiting for the final analyses to come through. So at this stage it would be hard to really put a true opinion across.

All I can go by is what Im seeing in my fish

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Lack of waste is an interesting measure IMO.

If your dog didn't 'have a movement' for a week, would you think wow that's a healthy dog, or, hmmm should I call the vet?

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