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Kobe Beef > Grading (this page)

Other articles: Wagyu Breeds | Feeding and Raising | Kobe Beef Characteristics | Omega Fatty Acids

 

 

Evaluation of Cattle by the Japan Meat Grading Association.
 

In 1961, the Japanese government authorized the creation of an association to regulate and establish a grading system that would define meat prices for distribution. From this decision emerged the JMGA (Japan Meat Grading Association). This grading system helped standardize quality and set prices according to quality standards in the meat market in Japan.

The Japan Meat Grading Association is the only entity authorized by the Japanese Government to evaluate cattle. The evaluation takes place once the cattle have been slaughtered.

Wagyu beef is known for being one of the most exquisite and prized meats in the world. Its grading is a detailed process that is divided into different aspects to ensure that consumers know exactly what they are buying. In this article, we will examine in detail the yield (A-C) and quality (1-5) categories in Wagyu beef grading.

The Association has designed a meat grading system that includes the letters A, B, and C, along with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. This combination forms a scale that rates the quality of the meat.
 

The Letters.
 

The letters in the grading reflect the yield of the cattle in terms of the amount of edible meat obtained after the removal of internal organs and skin. A is assigned when the yield is higher, while C is awarded when it is lower.


 

The Number.

The assigned number represents the quality of the meat, with a score ranging from 1 to 5. 5 is the best possible score, and 1 is the worst.

This score is based on various aspects related to the quality of the meat, such as color, texture, and luster. All of this is evaluated according to the Beef Color Standard (BCS).

Wagyu Beef Grading: Yield and Quality.
 

Yield (A-C)
 

Class A.

Class A is the highest in yield grading. It indicates a proportion of usable meat that is above average. This translates to less waste and a greater amount of meat that can be used in culinary preparation.
 

Class B.

Class B represents a proportion of usable meat that is in line with the average. This category still offers quality meat, but there are more parts that cannot be used compared to Class A.
 

Class C.

Class C is the lowest in yield grading. It indicates a proportion of usable meat that is below average. This may be the result of a significant amount of unwanted fat or connective tissue.
 

Yield grading helps chefs and consumers understand the amount of meat they can expect from a particular piece of Wagyu.


Quality (1-5)
 

The quality of Wagyu beef is evaluated in five distinct areas, each of which is rated on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the best. These areas are:

 

Marbling.

The marbled fat within the meat, known as marbling, is a key indicator of tenderness and flavor. A score of 5 in marbling means a uniform and generous distribution of fat in the meat.

 

Meat Color.

High-quality Wagyu meat has a bright, uniform red color. Pale or uneven color will be rated lower.
 

Fat Luster.

he luster of the fat indicates its quality and flavor. A bright, glossy fat is a sign of freshness and high quality.
 

Texture.

The texture of Wagyu meat should be firm yet tender to the touch. A soft and delicate texture will be rated higher.
 

Fat Color.

The fat in high-quality Wagyu meat should be a clear, uniform white. Any discoloration or yellowish hue may indicate inferior quality.

 


The grading of Wagyu beef in the categories of yield and quality is a complex system designed to provide a clear understanding of what can be expected from a particular piece of meat. Through detailed assessment in these areas, consumers, chefs, and distributors can make informed decisions, ensuring they get the meat that meets their expectations and needs. This grading reflects the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into the breeding and preparation of one of the most prized meats in the world.

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