Wagyu means Japanese beef and have been bred in Japan for over 2,000 years. Wagyu originally served as pack and plough animals and have undergone rigorous selection for meat quality over the past 60 years. No other breed of cattle has the genetic potential to produce beef with such a high level of marbling and fine texture. Crossbred Wagyu x Holstein is the traditional Japanese cross and produces outstanding beef.
Marbling is the fine textured fat contained within the muscle. It enhances flavour, juiciness and tenderness and makes for a melt in the mouth experience. Marbling is graded on a scale of 0-9 with 9 being the highest in the Ausmeat grading system. Grade 9 includes meat that would grade up to 12 in Japan.
Wagyu marbling has unique characteristics with a higher ratio of mono unsaturated to saturated fats than other cattle breeds. Wagyu fat contains high levels of stearic acid which has minimal impact in raising cholesterol levels. Wagyu is also higher in conjugated linoleic acid which has anti-carcinogenic properties as well as being an anti inflammatory agent. (Dr.Tim Crowe, Deakin University)