If you find a complete food that we're not yet listing, don't worry, you can still get an idea of how we would rate it with our handy Instant Review Generator. Scroll down for our guidelines.
In order to get the most out of the Review Generator, it's best to stick closely to the following guidelines:
In general, as long as the ingredients list is entered exactly as it appears on the packaging or on the manufacturer's website, the generator should provide a good idea of how we would rate it.
We are, however, still working on this tool and although we are confident that it can cope with almost all ingredient formats, some errors may still occur. If in doubt, please make sure the ingredients list follows these criteria:
THE GENERATED RATINGS ARE ONLY APPLICABLE TO COMPLETE FOODS and should not be used to rate treats, complementary foods, mixers or individual ingredients.
The generator is only suitable for UK ingredient lists. Since ingredient definitions vary from country to country, our interpretation of an ingredient list may not be applicable overseas.
Ingredients must be separated by commas.
Ensure you double check spelling as any errors may lead to an inaccurate rating.
Ingredients must be listed in order from highest percentage to lowest. If you have taken the ingredients directly from the food's packaging or from the manufacturer's website, this will usually be the case but it's always worth double checking.
Nested brackets (brackets within other brackets) may cause errors and should be removed. For example, "30% Chicken (Fresh Chicken (20%), Chicken Meal (10%))" should be replaced with "30% Chicken (Fresh Chicken 20%, Chicken Meal 10%)".
Not all ingredients necessarily need to be declared on the ingredients list. Some additives, for example, can be listed elsewhere on the packaging like on the 'nutritional additives' panel. If you spot any suspicious looking ingredients outside of the ingredients list, just add them to the end of the ingredients list (separated by commas) before clicking 'go'.
Other ingredients including some fairly controversial additives don't need to be declared at all so the only way to get a full picture is to contact the manufacturer and ask for a full ingredient breakdown including any undeclared additives.
Tins, trays, pouches, (non-frozen) chubbs etc are all wet foods.
Raw complete foods come frozen.
Fresh foods are precooked and come chilled.
Dry foods can be harder to distinguish but as a general rule, if it doesn't say the dry food is something special on the packaging (baked, cold-pressed, freeze-dried, air-dried, semi-moist, muesli) it's probably extruded as these make up the vast majority of the market.
Although this information can affect a food's rating, they aren't absolutely essential for a quick overview so don't worry if you don't have it.
Wet, raw and fresh foods should declare their moisture content on the packaging in the 'typical analysis' (aka 'analytical constituents'). Dry foods, on the other hand, are not required to declare their moisture content so many don't. If in doubt, just leave it blank and we'll set it to the average moisture for the selected food type.
Manufacturers do not need to declare which selenium supplement they use but if they do you'll find it in the 'nutritional additives' section or, very occasionally, in the ingredients list (aka 'composition'). If in doubt, contact the manufacturer or just select 'not sure'.
Manufacturers do not need to declare which copper supplement they use but if they do you'll find it in the 'nutritional additives' section or, very occasionally, in the ingredients list (aka 'composition'). If in doubt, contact the manufacturer or just select 'not sure'.
Carrageenan is typically only used in wet foods but manufacturers are not required to declare its use. Where it is declared, you will either find it in the ingredients list (aka 'composition') or possibly under 'technological additives'. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer or just select 'not sure'.
To get an accurate instant review, it's very important that the ingredients list is entered correctly. Scroll down for our guidelines.