Difference between Australian and Japanese Wagyu Beef

Difference between Australian and Japanese Wagyu Beef

Sep 22, 2021Mo Qas

Wagyu beef refers to a class of cattle breed. It is highly marbled and also tastes good, thus desired by everyone. It has high demand due to its deliciousness and texture. Also, it is known and famous due to its breeding procedure, which makes it so unique and tasty and it comes from the Japanese black cattle.

The cattle breeds from which Wagyu beef is made include Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn. However, there are strict regulations and limitations related to the export of Wagyu beef. Pure Wagyu is rare and is only available on the menus of the best restaurants in the world. 

People usually wonder about whether the meat they are consuming is clean, healthy, and halal. But you can find halal meat online in different stores. Also, Wagyu meat is now available in different online stores, for instance That Fat Cow and it is halal and safe to eat. 

Japanese Wagyu v/s Australian Wagyu

Japan's strict regulations prohibited the sale of any Japanese cattle to any other country. But, a small number of Japanese cattle were allowed to be exported for nearly 20 types of blood, beginning in 1975. During this time, cattle breeders in a country such as Australia imported a small number of Japanese cattle, most of the black cattle breed (Kuroge). 

Since then, licensed farmers were hired by Australia who have pureblood experience in breeding 100% full-blood Wagyu cattle and other crossbreed cattle too. It was their strategy to grow their Wagyu beef industry. For example, in the past two Australian farms, Blackmore Wagyu and Stone Axe Wagyu bred 100% full-blood Wagyu from the Japanese Wagyu successfully. These breeds did not show any trace of cross-breeding.

Breeding of Australian Wagyu v/s Japanese Wagyu

The Australian Wagyu cattle are linked to the Japanese cattle breed as they may share bloodline relations. But the Australian Wagyu cattle are not 100% “genuine”. Most of the Australian cattle are crossbred. About 95% of the Australian cattle are crossbred with other cattle breeds. The cattle produced after the breed is thus, distinguished into two breeds, known as crossbred cattle and purebred cattle. Australian cattle moreover are bred, grown, and processed in Australia.

Japanese Wagyu cattle are bred, grown, and processed in Japan. These are pure, 100% full-blood cattle breeds without crossbreeding. Japanese wagyu is a full-blood pure breed that is why it is more exclusive and more expensive than the Australian wagyu beef. Japanese Wagyu beef tastes delicious and more tempting as compared to Australian Wagyu beef. This may be due to differences in their breeding environment and conditions.

The difference in raising Conditions among Japanese Wagyu v/s Australian Wagyu

The soil, climate, grasses, and rainfall in Australia are all different from those in Japan. These changes impact the flavour, texture, and quality of the beef. For example, Australia has considerably more open grassland and room for cattle to graze freely at various phases of the production process. The flavour of the beef is influenced by the location of a farm within a country too.

However, from the north to the south, Australia's climate varies dramatically. The climate in the north is hot and humid, with tropical grasses. The climate in the south is cooler with traditional grasses like clover and ryegrasses. These differences in climate and soil quality will affect the quality and flavour of the beef. Similarly, different regions can grow the same variety of wines. But, the wine can taste completely different due to differences in climate and soil types.

Japanese Wagyu v/s Australian Wagyu Grading

The Australian meat grading system differs significantly from the Japanese grading system. There are two official systems in Australia, Ausmeat and MSA (Meat Standards Australia), both of which have a marble score ranging from 0 to 9. It can be ranked 9+ if the quality is higher than 9. Marble grades are similar in both grading schemes. A marble score grade ranges from 1 to 12 in the Japanese grading system. They do, however, look at a variety of other aspects and provide an overall grade, with A5 being the highest (you just need a marble score of 8+ to qualify for A5). When a carcass is graded, the grade is determined at one point in the animal and applied to the entire animal.

Australian Wagyu v/s American Wagyu

While comparing the Australian Wagyu v/s American Wagyu we observe that American Wagyu is usually a 50 percent Wagyu crossbreed with less than 5,000 full blood animals. Whereas, Australian Wagyu is about 95% related to the original Japanese Wagyu. In the United States, crossbreeding generally occurs between a Wagyu bull and an Angus dam. The meat is advertised as American Style Kobe beef, and the progeny is referred to as American Style Kobe. Wagyu bulls are frequently utilized in conjunction with Holstein cows. Nonetheless, there are still a few Wagyu farms that specialize in 100% pure blood Wagyu.

Supply of Beef; Japanese Wagyu v/s Australian Wagyu

Wagyu began thousands of years ago in Japan. Their farmers handed their knowledge down the generations. Getting Japanese Wagyu beef was extremely difficult because of the prohibition on the export of Wagyu beef. Furthermore, breeding Wagyu was considerably more difficult, as there was no livestock or genetic material available. For many years, enough livestock was not available to enable a breeding program. The breeding program helps in exporting the Wagyu beef by producing a large quantity of Wagyu beef. Even now only around 10% of all Kobe beef produced is exported, with the other 90% going to the Japanese local market.

Marbling in Australian v/s Japanese Wagyu

Wagyu is known for its high marbling levels. Australian Wagyu beef contains a lot of intramuscular fat but it doesn't have the same level of marbling as Japanese Wagyu. There are different amounts of marbling in Australian Full-blood, Purebred, and Crossbred Wagyu beef. The Australian cattle grading system differs from the Japanese grading system as well.

Final Words

Japanese Wagyu beef is ultimately the most delicious type of beef in the world. It has a better texture and taste than Australian one. But, Australian Wagyu has its worth as it is about 95% of the original Japanese Wagyu beef. However, both the Wagyu beef, Australian and Japanese, are in demand because of purity.

Moreover, American Wagyu is 50% related to Japanese Wagyu.  But, the American industry is transparent in the feed use. That is why American Wagyu beef is also in demand in the market.

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