Natural Balance Original Ultra Review

Salmon, Calamari & Duck Formula

Natural Balance Original Ultra Salmon, Calamari & Duck Formula

PawDiet Rating

3.00
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Review of Natural Balance Original Ultra
Salmon, Calamari & Duck Formula

This product is manufactured by Natural Balance Pet Foods. Natural Balance Pet Foods is a subsidiary of Big Heart Pet Brands. In addition to Natural Balance, Big Heart Pet Brands also owns Nature's Recipe, Milk Bone, Meaty Bone, Meow Mix, PupPeroni, Ally Cat, and several other brands.

According to our data, this Natural Balance recipe provides complete & balanced nutrition for all life stages. In other words, this formula is AAFCO approved.

Natural Balance Original Ultra Salmon, Calamari & Duck Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Ingredient Review

We'll begin this review of Natural Balance Original Ultra Salmon, Calamari & Duck Formula with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.

The first ingredient is fish broth. Fish broth provides both flavor and moisture; however, as with other broths, fish broth does not provide any notable nutritional contribution.

The second ingredient is salmon. Although salmon is an excellent protein and omega-3 fatty acid source, raw salmon contains more than 60% moisture. After cooking, the relative meat contribution of salmon is dramatically reduced. Therefore, it's important to ensure that other meat sources are included within the first few ingredients to ensure the product derives most of its protein from meat.

The third ingredient is chicken liver. Chicken liver is an excellent organ meat which provides high quality protein and fat. In addition, chicken liver provides many essential vitamins and minerals.

The fourth ingredient is calamari. Calamari is the culinary name for squid. Although squid is an unusual pet food ingredient, it's actually an excellent protein source naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids and various vitamins and minerals.

The fifth ingredient is duck. Duck is another excellent protein source. As with other raw meats, duck contains a substantial amount of moisture and therefore the relative meat contribution of duck is dramatically reduced after cooking.

Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Natural Balance Original Ultra Salmon, Calamari & Duck Formula are not as important as the first five ingredients.

However, collectively they still have a significant impact on the overall quality of the product. Therefore, we'll continue discussing the remaining ingredients in this Natural Balance recipe.

Next we have chicken. Chicken is the most common meat ingredient used in cat food. It provides high-quality protein and fat. However, more than 60% of chicken is water.

The next ingredient is brown rice. Brown rice is naturally rich in fiber and various minerals including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Relative to other grains, brown rice is easy to digest.

Then we have natural flavor. Natural flavoring does not contribute any nutritional value.

Moving on, we have beet pulp. Beet pulp is the by-product which remains once sugar has been extracted from sugar beets. The primary contribution of beet pulp is dietary fiber.

We'd also like to note that beet pulp is fairly controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that beet pulp can promote intestinal health and regulate blood sugar. However, opponents claim that beet pulp is an inexpensive filler.

Moving on with this review, we have dicalcium phosphate. Dicalcium phosphate (misnomer for dibasic calcium phosphate) is commonly used in pet food and treats as a dietary calcium supplement. It can also be found in breakfast cereals, enriched flour, noodle products, pharmaceutical tablets, and toothpastes.

The next ingredient in this review is salmon meal. Salmon meal is produced by cooking salmon using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of salmon and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.

Our next ingredient is canola oil. Canola oil is extracted from canola plant seeds. Many people believe that canola oil is basically an improved rapeseed oil.

Canola oil is controversial because rapeseed oil is actually dangerous for human/animal consumption.

The remaining ingredients in this Natural Balance Original Ultra recipe are unlikely to affect the overall rating of the product.

Our analysis of the ingredients show that this product derives most of its protein from animal based sources. This is an excellent property because meat based protein contains all of the necessary amino acids required by cats. In our option, this is one of the most important properties to judge when reviewing pet food, therefore we believe this is an exceptional product in this regard.

Final Thoughts

In summary, we recognize that this product does not contain any artificial colors, artificial preservatives, or anonymous meat ingredients.

The official PawDiet rating for Natural Balance Original Ultra Salmon, Calamari & Duck Formula is 3.0 out of 5.