Wagyu Marble Score And Grading: An Explanation
Depending on what part of the world the products are coming from, meat is graded based on a different set of regulations and standards by designated associations. These grades include a grade and a marble score that is based off of the yield and quality of the cattle.
Japanese Grading System
With Japanese Wagyu, the grading of cattle is conducted by the Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA). In order to test cattle, carcasses are ribbed between the sixth and seventh rib and given a yield grade of A, B, or C as classified by the calculated yield percentages. The quality of the carcass is given a grade from 1-5 based on marbling, meat color and texture, and fat color and quality. In addition to the yield and quality grades, all of the carcasses are given a score based on the Beef Marbling Standard (BMS) from 3-12
Grade A - 72% and above
Grade B - 69% and above
Grade C - under 69%
5 - Excellent
4 - Good
3 - Average
Beef Marbling Standard:
8-12 - Excellent
5-7 - Good
3-4 - Average
These scores together make up the gradings of Japanese Wagyu, for example a Japanese Wagyu Ribeye can be given a grade of A5 BMS12. This is the best grade that can be given to Japanese Wagyu because it has both the highest grade and highest marble score given.
*Pictured above is a Japanese A5 BMS12 Boneless Ribeye*
Australian Wagyu Grading System
The Australian grading system is similar to the Japanese grading system due to the standards that the cattle is held to. While Australian Wagyu is similar to Japanese Wagyu in that it is given a quality grade that ranges from 1 to 5, it differs because the excellent grade for Australian Wagyu only ranges in a BMS of 8-9 as opposed to the 8-12 range of Japanese Wagyu.
*Pictured above is a Full Blood Australian Wagyu Boneless Ribeye BMS 9+*