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May 18, 2021

This is why Wagyu Meat is expensive

 Wagyu meat is one of the most expensive meats when compared to regular imported meat sold in supermarkets.

If you eat wagyu meat, the texture is very soft and melts in the mouth. The price of a kilogram of wagyu meat can reach up to RM2000.

Why is the price of wagyu meat so expensive? To know more, continue reading this article.

Wagyu is taken from a Japanese word. ‘Wa’ means Japanese while ‘Gyu’ is meat. So wagyu is Japanese meat.

The most expensive wagyu meat is known as Kobe meat because it comes from the Tajima cattle breed and can only be farmed in the Hyogo district of Kobe.

There are several other breeds of wagyu cattle such as Kuroge (Japanese Black), Akage (Japanese Brown), Nihon Tankaku (Japanese Shorthorn) and Mukaku (Japanese Polled).

Besides Kobe, several other meats are named as Matsusaka, Yonezawa, Mishima and Omi meats. The names are given in conjunction with the place or origin of the meat.

In 1868, the Japanese government wanted to introduce more Western food to the community. So, they import meat from foreign countries such as Britain, the United States (US), Scotland and South Korea to Japan with the aim of producing a lot of meat.

In 1910, Japan stopped the hybridization of three black cows, namely Tajiri, Fujiyoshi and Kedaka, which were produced as the majority cows while the other two breeds, namely Kochi and Kumamoto red cows, became minority breeds.

To maintain the quality of cattle, the Japanese government introduced a ban on exporting its cattle abroad by implementing restrictions in 1997.

The fetuses of cows and calves that had been exported before the embargo were successfully bred in Australia until the country became the largest producer of wagyu cattle in the world, beating Japan.

Why is wagyu meat sold expensively? Take for example the most expensive wagyu meat which is Kobe meat. The criteria to qualify for the meat is Kobe meat, the cow must be from the Tajima breed of cattle and born in Hyogo district.

The bulls will be spayed while the female cows will be ensured never to mate with the bulls. This means that heifers need to remain ‘virgin’ before being slaughtered.

Kobe cattle are only given grain and grass from the region.

In addition, cows ready for processing should weigh between 780 to 800 kilograms, with a skeletal weight after shearing, less than 470 kilograms.

The cows had to be slaughtered at slaughterhouses appointed by the Japanese authorities and two slaughterhouses were recognized for the Muslim community.

After undergoing the digestion process, the meat will be graded according to the quality of the fat content. There are 4 categories taken into account in the evaluation, namely the level of fat, color, solidity and quality of fat in meat.

Meat will be given grades A, B and C with marks 1 to 5.

In addition, wagyu meat will be judged through ‘sashi’ or ‘marbling’ value. Marbling is a fat found in parts of meat, made up of unsaturated fats and saturated fats.

Sashi will determine the liquidity level of the meat with a score of 1 to 12.

To qualify as Kobe meat, the meat must have an A4 grade and the sashi level must exceed 6. If it does not get a sufficient grade, the meat pack cannot be labeled as Kobe meat.

The fat composition of wagyu meat is different from other breeds of cattle. Wagyu meat has a higher content of mono unsaturated fat and oleic acid concentration.

Studies show that mono unsaturated fats are good for heart health because they can reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in the blood.

Wagyu also has a sweet and fatty aroma and is loved by the Japanese community. The aroma is produced during co -storage of oxygen and the optimum cooking temperature to produce the aroma is 80 degrees Celsius.

Wagyu meat is sold expensively because the care process from small to slaughter is very meticulous to ensure high quality meat and soft texture.

Unlike other breeds of cattle, wagyu cattle have a high unsaturated fat content and are good for heart health.

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