This wagyu meat just recorded

Photo: Pixabay

This wagyu meat just recorded the highest marbling score ever in SA

A wagyu rib-eye from South Africa achieved the highest marbling score ever recorded in the country.

This wagyu meat just recorded

Photo: Pixabay

A certified wagyu carcass recently scored the highest marbling rating in South Africa – and maybe even the world.

Yes, Landbou reports that a piece of rib-eye that belongs to Morgan Beef from Delmas just scored 15 in South Africa. A marbling score is a component of the beef quality grading system. In addition to the quantity of marbling, the distribution and texture of visible fat flecks within the rib-eye are also considered during the assessment of the marbling score. It is said that to get a marbling score of 15 is extraordinary. The highest usually given is 12 while certified wagyu beef must have a minimum marble score of 3.

Locally, a primary cut from this carcass can cost between R800/kg and R1000/kg, while it can cost up to R16000/kg in Britain.

Wagyu in South Africa

Dr Michael Bradfield, CEO of industry organisation Wagyu South Africa, told Landbou that the meat came from a cross between Wagyu and Angus breeds. He later told The Money Show that their producers spent anything upward of R250 million establishing wagyu in South Africa.

You’ve first got to bring in the semen and embryos from overseas, mostly Australia. Then you’ve got to breed them; it takes a year before the calf is born. And then it takes at least another two years before the product becomes ready. We were able to bring in the very best genetics into South Africa and the results now prove it.”

He also said that a score of 5/6 is more than enough for the South African palate… but there are connoisseurs who enjoy a really good whiskey, for example, and it’s the same with meat.

More about wagyu

According to Morgan Beef‘s website, wagyu is an ancient breed of beef cattle that has its origins in Japan. It is pronounced ‘wag-you’, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow. They are medium-sized, sturdy cattle with immaculate physical endurance and a great temperament.

Wagyu is also proven to be very nutritious. It contains a higher amount of monounsaturated fats (good fats) and omega 3 and 6 than other beef. It also contains higher concentrations of essential fatty acids and has a higher percentage of good cholesterol when compared to other types of beef. Wagyu is also higher in conjugated linoleic acid, which is proven to bring major health benefits.

There are four breeds of Wagyu: Japanese Black (Kuroge Washu), Japanese Brown (Akage Washu or Akaushi), Japanese Polled (Mukaku Washu) and Japanese Shorthorn (Nihon Tankaku Washu).

The introduction of wagyu beef has forever changed the beef industry internationally and in South Africa. Currently, in South Africa, there are a total of around 130 wagyu breeders with about 4 500 wagyu cattle in total between them, of which 3 000 are breeding cows.

In Japan

Over the world and especially in Japan, efficient marketing efforts have elevated wagyu to near-divine status among fans of fine food and drink. 

“Eating wagyu is considered an investment,” says Troy Lee, chef de cuisine at Oak Door. “It is the most-consumed beef in Japan. For most families, wagyu beef is a delicacy reserved for special occasions. The emphasis is on quality, not quantity.”