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Dog Food Insiders Rating
This is our short review on Beneful Healthy Radiance Dog Food. You may find more detailed information about Beneful in our full Beneful dog food review. This review is specifically for Beneful Healthy Radiance where we will analyze the ingredients in the food and explore any problems you should know about.
Beneful Healthy Radiance appears to be targeted toward owners who want to improve their dogs’ skin and coat. The web page for the food makes several claims about salmon for a “thick, healthy coat;” omega fatty acids for “supple skin and a glossy coat;” and zinc for “healthy skin.” All of these claims are probably true. These ingredients do contribute to healthy skin and coat. So, from that perspective, Beneful Healthy Radiance seems to be making accurate nutritional claims.
You can also look at the guaranteed analysis provided by Purina to see that they add more than the minimum amounts of linoleic acid and zinc. Linoleic acid is an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. It would be nice if Purina provided more information in their guaranteed analysis, but this gives you some idea of what they add and it’s more than is strictly required when following AAFCO labeling guidelines.
Otherwise, most of the ingredients in this food are very similar to Beneful’s other kibble ingredients.
Ingredients in Beneful Healthy Radiance Dog Food
Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), salmon, rice flour, soy flour,meat and bone meal, water, propylene glycol, sugar,soybean oil, animal digest, tricalcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, salt, calcium phosphate, potassium chloride, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried green beans, dried carrots, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, DL-Methionine, ferrous sulfate, Red 40, manganese sulfate, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, Blue 2, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
In terms of protein, the food starts off with ground yellow corn. If you’re looking for a grain free food, this isn’t it. As the first ingredient, ground yellow corn will be the heaviest ingredient in the food by weight before cooking. It contains about 7 percent protein and is largely made up of carbohydrates. Corn is a good source of fiber (mostly insoluble fiber) and it has antioxidant properties. It’s also a good source of vitamins B3 and B5 and vitamin C, as well as manganese. Farther down the ingredient list you will note that the food also contains corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a by-product of corn processing but it can contain up to 60 percent protein.
There is no actual “gluten” in corn gluten meal. It’s a relatively inexpensive ingredient and, with such a high protein content, dog food manufacturers tend to like it a lot – sometimes too much. Taken together, the ground yellow corn and the corn gluten meal appear to make up a lot of the protein in this food.
For animal protein the food contains chicken by-product meal, salmon, meat and bone meal, and animal digest. This is a mixed bag of ingredients. They all provide plenty of protein. Salmon is probably the most desirable. The salmon in the food is the sixth ingredient, so there could still be several percent in the food. Salmon is a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of protein, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. It’s also an excellent source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Chicken by-product meal is more problematic. Chicken is a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of protein, Niacin and Selenium. Since this is a meal, it’s a concentrated form and will contain several times as much protein as whole chicken. However, by-products are less desirable parts of the chicken. According to AAFCO, chicken by-product meal is described as: “the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.” This is not the clean flesh we associate with chicken breasts or thighs, for example.
Meat and bone meal is also considered a less desirable ingredient. While it provides a lot of protein – typically 48 to 52 percent – and 33-35 percent ash (minerals), 8 to 12 percent fat, it is probably not something you want to feed your dog if you can help it. AAFCO defines meat and bone meal as: “the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.” I should be clear here that rendering is not the issue.
Most of the meat and fat in all dog foods have to be rendered. That’s just basically cooking things down on a very large scale – the same way you would cook and reduce a big pot of food on your kitchen stove. You can render excellent ingredients for use in dog food. The problem in this case is the ingredients being used for rendering and then sold as “meat and bone meal” for inclusion in dog food are less than desirable. They start out from mammal tissues and bones and could come from any animals.
Animal digest elicits similar objects. “Animal” is a vague term that can refer to any animal. AAFCO defines it as: “material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.” This is another ingredient that you will want to avoid if you can.
Are meat and bone meal or animal digest actually harmful to your dog? No, I wouldn’t go that far, though some people will disagree. But these are not desirable ingredients. There are certainly many dog foods that contain healthier sources of meat protein. These ingredients are found in many less expensive dog foods because they are less expensive ingredients.
In terms of fat, a large amount of the fat in the food comes from animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E). Again, “animal fat” is a vague term. You don’t know what kind of animal this comes from and it could come from different sources at different times. This is also an undesirable ingredient, although the company does used mixed tocopherols as a preservatives – a natural preservative.
Farther down the list you will also see that the food contains vitamin E supplement which is a natural preservative, though it can also have some other uses. The food also contains soybean oil which can be added to add omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to the food. However, any soybean product, including soybean oil, can add phytoestrogens to the diet which can effect the dog’s sexual hormones. Delayed puberty and immune deficiencies have been associated with phytoestrogens in humans. However, soybean oil is probably less harmful than the use of some other soy products that are used in dog foods.
Additional Ingredients of Interest
Propylene glycol is a chemical relative of ethylene glycol – anti-freeze. However, it is not the same thing! Propylene glycol was once used in cat food but, at the insistence of the FDA, it is no longer used in cat food because it was shown that it was associated with Heinz Body Anemia, a deadly disease. However, research has not shown that there is any connection between propylene glycol and this condition in dogs. Some people still prefer to avoid feeding dog food that contains this food. It is used in dog foods to control moisture, to help with the effects of the breakdown of fats, and as a solvent for food coloring.
The food also contains sugar which, of course, your dog doesn’t need for any reason.
Calcium propionate (a preservative) is also found in this food. This is an anti-fungal preservative that is often used in preserving breads to prevent mold. In humans it has been linked to damaging the stomach lining by exacerbating gastritis and inducing severe ulcers. Of course, dogs have much stronger stomach acids than humans do, so they may not be at risk for these problems.
This ingredient has also been linked to behavioral changes in children and migraines. Does it have negative effects on dogs? There is no evidence of these effects at this time.
The food also contains a number of added colors which dogs don’t need. Coloring is typically added to dog food to impress the owner. The added colors include: Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 2. Some of these colors have been linked to tumors and allergic reactions.
The food also contains whole wheat flour, soy flour, and rice flour. These ingredients are used as binders by petfood companies to hold the mixture together during the extrusion process. They don’t provide much nutrition, however. Because they are relatively inexpensive they are sometimes overused by manufacturers and act as filler ingredients.
The food also contains menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity) which is synthetic vitamin K. This ingredient can cause immune problems, allergic reactions, and it’s toxic in high doses, among other issues. AAFCO and the FDA do not require dog food companies to include any vitamin K in their products. Natural vitamin K is easy to obtain in liver, kelp, and fish meal, among other foods.
The food also contains added vitamins and minerals.
- 25.0% Crude Protein (Min)
- 12.0% Crude Fat (Min)
- 4.0% Crude Fiber (Max)
- 14.0% Moisture (Max)
- 175 mg/kg Iron (Fe) (Min)
- 135 mg/kg Zinc (Zn) (Min)
- 0.30 mg/kg Selenium (Se) (Min)
- 15,000 IU/kg Vitamin A (Min)
- 1.8% Linoleic Acid (Min)
- 100 IU/kg Vitamin E (Min)
- 1.1% Calcium (Ca) (Min)
Metabolizable Energy (ME) 3801kcal/kg; 1726kcal/lb; this food contains 375kcal/cup.
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
Animal feeding tests using Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) procedures substantiate that Beneful Healthy Radiance dog food provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages of dogs.
Dry Matter Basis
On a dry matter basis, this food has approximately 29 percent protein and 14 percent fat. This is a moderate amount of protein and most of it appears to be plant-based (corn). The fat is also a moderate amount. The fiber is about 4.7 percent, figured on a dry matter basis, which is typical for most kibbles. The food contains about 43 percent carbohydrates which at the high end for kibble.
Beneful Healthy Radiance looks very similar to most of Beneful’s other kibbles in terms of ingredients but it does contain some things that will probably address improved skin and coat. It has a moderate amount of protein which is probably largely plant-based (corn), though we like the salmon in the food. It also contains about 43 percent carbs. We also note that it contains a number of undesirable ingredients.
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