Certified Angus Beef: About the Brand

The Certified Angus Beef ® brand ensures incredibly flavorful, tender and juicy beef due to generous marbling in every cut. Only the best of the Choice and Prime grades is considered. If it passes the brand’s 10 strict quality specifications, it earns it’s premium beef mark.

Marbling and maturity

  1. Modest or higher marbling – for the taste that ensures customer satisfaction
  2. Medium or fine marbling texture – the white “flecks of flavor” in the beef that ensure consistent flavor and juiciness in every bite
  3. Only the youngest classification of product qualifies as “A” maturity – for superior color, texture and tenderness

The next three specifications ensure a uniform, consistent steak size:

  1. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area
  2. Less than 1,000-pound hot carcass weight
  3. Less than 1-inch fat thickness

And finally, four specifications further ensure the quality appearance and tenderness of the brand:

  1. Superior muscling (restricts influence of dairy cattle)
  2. Practically free of capillary ruptures (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
  3. No dark cutters (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
  4. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches (safeguards against cattle with more variability in tenderness)


A Glossary of Beef Finishing

A Glossary of Beef Finishing

All-Natural: This term sounds great, but may be the most confusing of all.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a ‘natural’
or ‘all-natural’ labeling on meat means that it has been “minimally processed
and contains no artificial ingredients.” However, a natural label does not
prohibit the use of growth-promoting hormones or antibiotics.

Grain-fed/Corn-fed: Most meat found in supermarkets and restaurants
across the country are fed a diet of specially formulated feed, based on corn
or other grains. This diet is typical in large scale beef production and speeds
up the growth and fat distribution (marbling) of the beef. Cows are grasseaters
by nature, and an intense grain diet can be difficult on their digestive
systems, often requiring antibiotics to be administered on a large scale.

Grass-fed: According to the American Grassfed Association (AGA)’s 100%
Grass-fed Ruminant Program, a grass-fed cow must eat only herbaceous
plants and/or mother’s milk during its entire life cycle. The natural diet of
cattle, grass is lower in saturated fats and higher in essential nutrients, like
omega 3-fatty acids and vitamin E, creating a healthier, leaner product.
Grassfed beef tends to have a meatier flavor and a cleaner finish. To be
certified by the AGA, animals must not be given any antibiotics or hormones.

Grain-finished: This term refers to feeding pastured animals a grain diet
before slaughter to provide a more marbled finish in the end.

Wagyu Beef info

“Wagyu” Japanese beef

Deliciousness of Japanese black beef consists of the following factors: the taste and flavor that spread out in the mouth, and the smooth texture. Amino acids, including glutamic acid of meat, and the broth which contains inosine acid causes us sense the savoriness, and a lot of oleic acid which is a component of flavor is also much contained in WAGYU. Therefore, “Japanese black beef” is different from other species of cattle, but has a special deliciousness of its own.

Smooth velvety texture, juicy flavor, delicate but rich taste will linger on the palate. These unique characters are created by the large proportion of amino acids (the basis of its umami or savoriness) and unsaturated fat.
In addition, “marbling” affects its taste. We have especially valued marbling on beef as a symbol of high quality so that it is the key to grade beef. However, the marbling fat in the beef is never too rich. Indeed, it will almost melt in your mouth as you put the piece in your mouth. The marbling is the evidence that cattle have been specially raised in the vast, lush wilderness using carefully selected feed, pure water, and clean air.
We are sure that once you taste “Wagyu” Japanese beef, you will find the new value and taste of beef.
— quoted from the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan

What is “WAGYU A5″ ?

Beef cattle is classified into four categories: Japanese Black, Seed Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled.
It is Japanese Black of which number of breeding is the largest among them.

There are some grades for WAGYU beef, including the meat of Japanese Black, and A5 is the highest grade given only to the finest beef.

The standards of grading beef consist of Yield Grade and Quality Grade.
“A” of “A5″ means the yield grade, while “5″ shows the quality grade.

Moreover, the Japanese beef grading system has 5 quality grades. They are (1) marbling, (2) meat color and brightness, (3) firmness and texture of meat, and (4) color, luster and quality of fat.

A brief description of the Japanese beef grading system is as follows.

[Yield grade]
Yield Grade, in short, is the standard set to evaluate cutability (the proportion of meat obtained from a certain part of cattle body).
According to the yield grade, score A, B or C is determined.
Grade A : above standard
Grade B : standard
Grade C : below standard

Marbling is flecks or thin strips of fat in beef. In Japanese, “SASHI”.
Marbling is classified into five grades.
(The larger the number, the higher the grade. 5 is the largest and the highest.)
Furthermore, these five grades are ranked from No.1 to 12 by BMS (Beef Marbling Standard).

Grade BMS No.
5: Excellent 8 – 12
4: Good 5 – 7
3: Average 3 – 4
2: Below average 2
1: Poor 1

[Color and brightness]
Beef color and brightness are evaluated by visual appraisal.
5: Excellent
4: Good
3: Average
2: Below average
1: Poor

[Firmness and texture]
The firmness and texture of beef are also evaluated by visual appraisal.
5: Excellent
4: Good
3: Average
2: Below average
1: Poor

[Color, luster and quality of fat]
The color, luster and quality of fat is evaluated by the beef fat color standards, while evaluation of luster and quality of fat is by visual appraisal.
5: Excellent
4: Good
3: Average
2: Below average
1: Poor

Thus the grade of beef is classified along the standards of Yield grade and Quality grade. Quality grade also has several items of evaluation.

In the quality grade, the lowest score from the four items of the yield grade is adopted. In other words, even if grade 5 was given to marbling, color and brightness, and firmness and texture, and only fat assessments was grade 4, the quality grade of this beef is classified as grade 4. Quality grading is severely done.

Through these strict evaluations, Japanese Black beef there are classified into 15 grades from C1 to A5. And even among the A5 grade, marbling varies from No.8 to No.12.

The A5 grade Japanese Black WAGYU cattle is fed only good quality grain (corn and rice straw) and raised with scrupulous care.
Particularly good balance of fat, extremely smooth texture, and juicy flavor spreads out in the mouth. These are the unique character of WAGYU A5, the highest quality Japanese beef.



Japanese Meat Grading