Wagyu Beef

Wagyu grading and marble score

Wagyu beef

An exceptional eating experience

The marbling in Wagyu refers to visible fat – the intramuscular fat – found between muscle fibre bundles. The Japanese describe it as ‘snow’ or it can also be described as flecked.

Principally a mono-unsaturated fat, Wagyu marbling melts when cooked to create an exceptionally juicy flavour unique to Wagyu beef.

Wagyu grades and marbling scores?

The amount of fat within the muscle is graded in Australia using the AUS-MEAT beef quality grading system and assessed visually by an AUS-MEAT qualified grader using the scoring range 0 to 9+. Voluntary additional values can also be included to define the eating quality under Meat Standards Australia.

Australian Fullblood Wagyu beef regularly scores above 7, more than any other beef breed. Such is the marbling quality of Australian Wagyu beef, the Australian Wagyu Association holds an annual Wagyu Branded Beef Competition to find the Grand Champion.

MIJ Digital Camera, AUS-MEAT and objective Wagyu grading

‘The Australian Wagyu Association in partnership with Meat Image Japan through the Australian Government Export Wagyu Hub project, are using specifically designed cameras for Wagyu grading that were developed in Japan in collaboration with the Japanese Meat Grading Association.

These cameras are available through the AWA for objective Wagyu grading to accurately quantify marbling percentage and the unique marbling fineness of Wagyu.

The Australian Wagyu Association is pleased to announce that in working with Meat Image Japan (MIJ), they have achieved conditional approval for the MIJ-30 digital carcase camera through AUS-MEAT for objective grading of high Marble Score 0-9+. The MIJ-30 digital carcase camera is the first and only approved technology for High AUS-MEAT grading across the full 0-9+ marbling range.  The approval is conditional on maintaining the standards required in the AUS-MEAT regulations such as documentation of in-plant QA systems and ongoing validation testing. READ MORE

Achieving marbling in Wagyu beef is determined by the genetics of the animal and the nutrition in the feeding program. For breeding, producers use the genetic evaluation tools provided by the Australian Wagyu Association to determine the animals that have a high potential for marbling to breed standards.

Important Notice and Disclaimer

It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs published in Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only be directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN analysis.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries, ownership or breeding details in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading. For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

Regarding prefectural content, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
  • The calculation of prefectural content for Australian Herdbook animals relies on the accuracy of pedigree records and DNA samples provided by AWA members.
  • The reporting of prefectural content for animals within the AWA Herdbook relies on the calculation provided by ABRI.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the EBVs of a particular animal, then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.