Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free dry dog food receives the Advisor’s above-average rating of 4.5 stars.
The Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free Adult Chicken and Pea Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic chicken, poultry meal, organic tapioca, organic peas, organic soybean meal, organic potato, dried egg product, salmon meal, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), organic chicken liver, natural chicken flavor, organic flaxseed, salt, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2 polyphosphate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement), yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation solubles, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||13%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||29%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient poultry meal. Poultry meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
Although the word poultry doesn’t clearly identify the species, poultry meal is most commonly sourced from chicken and turkey.
The third ingredient is tapioca. Tapioca is a starchy extract made from the root of the cassava plant. This carbohydrate is not only grain-free, it’s also gluten-free.
The fourth ingredient mentions peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.
The fifth ingredient is soybean meal. Soybean meal is actually a useful by-product. It’s what remains of soybeans after all the oil has been removed.
Soybean meal contains 48% protein. However, compared to meat, this item is considered an inferior plant-based protein providing a lower biological value.
The sixth ingredient is potato. Assuming they’re cooked, potatoes are considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates.
The seventh ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The eighth ingredient includes salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The ninth ingredient lists poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With two notable exceptions…
First, the company appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.
And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free Dry
The Bottom Line
Since Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to accord this line favored status as we consider its final rating.
That’s because organic ingredients are produced under controlled government standards — standards which greatly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free looks to be an above-average dry dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal and the peas, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing at least a moderate amount of meat.
Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of poultry meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
12/22/2011 Original review
12/22/2011 Last Update