What’s the one thing that makes Wagyu beef such a worldwide phenomenon?
If you have ever been lucky enough to taste this sensational product, you will know that from that point on, eating beef will never be the same again.
Wagyu beef is characterized by an intense marbling or tenderness that causes a ‘melt in your mouth’ type reaction when eaten.
It is this marbling which sets the product apart from any other beef product in the world.
Marbling is the visible intramuscular fat that is found of cut of beef, that helps to keep the beef tender when cooked. However the fat that is found is Wagyu is substantially different to other animal fats as it has a lower melting point, higher levels of unsaturated fats and has been therefore found to have a positive impact on heart health.
This good fat found in Wagyu beef contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid or CLA, a fatty acid which has been proven to have a positive impact in reducing cancer, inflammation, increasing weight loss and limiting food intolerances in the body.
The Quality of Wagyu is graded according to a marble score which scores carcass’s based on the percentage of fat distribution.
In Australia Wagyu are scored using an Australian marble score (Aus MS) from 1 through to 9+. With the score of 1 being classed as poor and scores 7 – 9 being classed as excellent eating quality.
Japan use a slightly different system grading carcasses from 3 – 12 using a beef marble score (BMS)
Wagyu content and marble score policy in Australia.
Whilst the phenomenon of the Wagyu breed has been evaluated, there is still some confusion regarding Wagyu content and marble score in the Australian commercial market. The Australian Wagyu Association is currently working on policy to help educate consumers of the breed on the percentage of Wagyu content and marble score to help answer the big question. How do you know what you are eating?
In Australia, Wagyu are classified by 3 distinct groups: Fullblood, Purebred & Crossbred.
Fullblood Wagyu is Wagyu in its purest form. 100% Wagyu genetics on both the male & female side from the heart of Japan, guaranteed to produce superior marbling quality and taste. They are fed between 400 – 650 days with the aim of producing a marble score of 8+.
Purebred are Wagyu that have been crossed four or more times. They are only classified as purebred if they are 93% or greater Wagyu.
Crossbred are Wagyu that have been crossed with another breed once (F1), twice (F2) or three (F3) times. F4 and above are classified as Purebred Wagyu. They are fed between 350 – 450 days with the aim of producing a marble score of 5 – 7+.
No matter what the cross of Wagyu you can be assured that the taste will almost always be better then that of other meats.