Kenzen Koi Food

Kenzen Introduction

Kenzen is the most advanced koi food in the market today.  It contains an intensely researched formula based on the major food source for the original magoi carp, the fish that are the genetic blueprint of all true koi:  the midge fly larva.  The protein, fat, and carbohydrate ratios are designed to reflect that of the midge fly larva, which, in the natural environment of the carp, is available in all four seasons.  This provides a well balanced mix of amino acids in a protein content that is higher than most koi food, and also far more digestible by koi than other formulations.  The carbohydrate content is limited, but sufficient to provide ample energy for movement and metabolic processes without catabolizing protein to fill energy requirements.  The fat content is on the high side for koi food, because the essential fatty acids the koi need are fats.

Kenzen goes a step further to support our very carefully bred modern koi.  Also present in the food are several additional amino acids to facilitate growth and digestive enzyme production.  A source of DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) is included, to help maintain digestive activity as temperatures decrease.  This is the same ingredient contained in algae, another wild carp staple, assisting in digestion and protein metabolism in cooler temperatures.

Kenzen does all this while maintaining 49% protein, without relying upon plant products to provide protein for the guaranteed analysis number.  Plant protein looks good on paper, but koi do not have the enzymes to fully digest it.  The protein sources in Kenzen koi food are easily digestible by koi, unlike those based on wheat or soy.  Koi, who have no stomachs, cannot produce the enzymes required for efficient digestion of plant proteins.

Because of the high digestibility of the protein in Kenzen, less feed is required for the same results seen with other food supplies.  At the same time, less waste is produced to foul water and filters, and more of the food is turned into koi, instead of wastes.  This offers a tidal change in the cleanliness of a pond and supports excellent water quality, which is what we’re all after, anyway.

That's a general introduction, in the following short articles I'll talk about the individual ingredients in Kenzen Koi Food, and the reasons that they have been selected as ingredients.

Kenzen Breakdown by Ingredient

#1 Ingredient - Herring Meal

Fish meal is by far the most complete and digestible form of protein that can be added to a feed.  There are many grades of fish meal, and corresponding protein contents.  Fish meal can contain anywhere from 55% protein to the 78% in herring meal.  Herring meal has a high fish oil content compared to other fish meal sources, providing a great source for omega 3 fatty acids needed by fish for (among other things) proper digestion of the protein.  

#2 Ingredient - Potato Starch

Proteins require enzymes to break them down into digestible components.  Not so with carbohydrates and fats, as koi can readily use the carbohydrates in potato starch as an energy source to keep from catabolizing protein for energy.  Only 9% carbohydrates are in Kenzen Koi Food, though, because fish do not require energy at the levels that land dwelling animals do.  9% potato starch also makes an excellent binder that is easily digestible, so the pellets don't fall apart in the water, they fall apart in the fish.

#3 Ingredient - Squid Meal

Squid meal is a valuable feed ingredient that is included in many premium koi foods.  It has numerous positive properties, from a superior amino acid/fatty acid profile, to an ability to increase stress resistance and strengthen immune responses.

#4 Ingredient - Dried Whole Egg

Whole egg is one of a few protein sources that has a complete amino acid profile to serve koi needs.

Vitamin C 

Koi require a good source of vitamin C in their diet, much as we do.  They cannot produce vitamin C in their bodies, so all they get must come from their diet.  Vitamin C has many effects on koi, from stress reduction and enhancement of immunity to building maintaining muscle.  The requirement on a daily basis to fulfill these needs is not known, but vitamin C has other benefits as an antioxidant.  Once the needs of the fish are met, additional C will act as a powerful scavenger of free radicals (molecules that can damage internal membranes in the fish body).  It is a vitamin that you just can't get too much of.

Koi foods use more than one type of vitamin C supplement in the "vitamin pack" the mill adds to the food.  Ascorbic acid is a very common source, the same one often used in human supplements.  Ascorbic acid, though, is not a very stable compound, and tends to break down rather quickly when exposed to heat, air, or simply time.  Many manufacturers will try to compensate for this by adding more ascorbic acid, but if that bag of food has been sitting on a pallet at the mill and/or on a shelf at a retailer for 6 months, the vitamin C available to the koi in the food is less than sufficient.

Kenzen Koi Food uses a stabilized form of vitamin C in it's production, called ascorbyl 2 polyphosphate.  Sounds scary, but it will last in a sealed bag of food for over a year, and only begins to degrade slowly when the bag is opened.  This ensures that your koi are getting all of the vitamin C that they need, plus extra bioavailable C to make an effective antioxidant and further boost immunity.
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