The Marbling In Wagyu Beef
We often get asked, “What is this marbling in the Wagyu all about?” Well, let us tell you. The marbling is the visible fat that is intermixed in the muscle fiber. The cascade of white veins or streaks flows throughout the meat like snow drifting down a river. These arteries are canals of unsaturated (healthy) fat that create a tender, creamy texture, The marbling is evaluated and scored against the AUS-MEAT marbling reference standards.
The meat grading system references standards that can be both used to provide more detail about the product and underpin our grading system. Marbling is based on visual assessment of the chilled carcass and is scored by comparing the proportion of marble fat to meat at the surface of the assessment site.
The marbling score – or MS, for short – denotes the degree of visible intramuscular fat found within the meat. Marbling scores are expertly graded from 3 to 12 by independent, qualified Accessors, who base the score on the rib eye muscle of each cow. In determining the score, they estimate the quantity, distribution, and texture of the visible fat flecks.
Wagyu is renowned for marbling or intramuscular fat (IMF). They have recorded 17 percent more IMF by chemical extraction than Angus with the same marbling score.
One of the reasons Wagyu beef is so highly revered is for its buttery, exquisite taste, which it acquires during cooking as the fat melts and infuses the meat with flavor. The more marbling there is in the meat, the higher the marble score and the better the quality.