What is Wagyu?

What is Wagyu?

The word “Wagyu” (和牛 – pronounced as Wah-Gyoo) is a term that literally means “Japanese cattle” and is the name specially given to cattle breeds developed over centuries in Japan. It is famous for its flavor, texture, and intense fatty, marbling.

However, much has changed since Y2008 and Wagyu has now become more popular worldwide. Wagyu breeding technique is successfully adopted by the US and Australian farms, where people have started to name theirs as US or Australia Wagyu.

During the Meiji era, Japanese began to develop Wagyu into a high quality beef.

Four main meat – producing breeds of Japanese Wagyu”

Japanese Black (黒毛和牛 / Kuroge-wagyu)v
They are monochromatic black tinged with brown, and often pale under the body and inside the legs. These account for over 80% of cattle in Japan.
Japanese Brown (褐毛和牛 / Akage-wagyu)
A bit brown in color, and the body size is slighly larger than the Japanese Black.
Japanese Shorthorn (短角和牛 / Tankaku-wagyu)
These are a dark reddish brown with short horn and account for only 1 to 2% of cows in Japan.
Japanese Polled (無角和牛 / Mukaku-wagyu)
Small black colored with black hoofs; not even 1% of cattle in Japan.

Why so special?

First of all, Wagyu steak is so tender, as no other beef can compare. Thanks to the many different breeding practices in Japan including special diet menu, stress-free living environment, additional cares, etc. Basically, these creatures are raised in such environment for less than 3 years from the first days to the last. The beef contains as much intramuscular fat content (healthy fat) as possible. The more marbling inside, the more tender meat is. Hence, the higher the price. In some restaurants, it costs 200~800 $ per Wagyu steak.

Why should eat more Wagyu?

There are rich of vitamins and nutrients containing healthy fats and Omega 6 / 3 oils in Wagyu beef. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids help to lower your cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of cancer. Wagyu is also higher in a type of fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Wagyu beef contain the highest amount of CLA per gram of any foodstuff – about 30% more than other beef breeds – due to higher linoleic acid levels. Foods that are naturally high in CLA have fewer negative health effects. Even some diet specialists recommend Wagyu beef. Therefore, Wagyu may be pricier but at the same time it is much healthier.

Wagyu Grading

Japanese carcasses are cut or ribbed between the sixth and seventh rib throughout Japan. There are three yield grades: A, B and C – classified by yield percentages estimated by an equation. There are five quality grades: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 – based on marbling, meat colour and texture, and fat colour and quality.

Yield score is determined by an estimated cutability percentage that is calculated by an equation which includes four carcass measurements. The measurements are obtained at the sixth and seventh rib section. The yield grading is absolutely objective, delivering an estimated yield percentage as follows.

Yield Grade
  • Grade A – 72% and above
  • Grade B – 69% and above
  • Grade C – under 69%
Quality grade

The meat quality scores are determined in terms of beef marbling, meat colour and brightness, firmness and texture of meat, colour, lustre and quality of fat. The relationship between beef marbling evaluation and classification of grade is as follows:

  • Poor: 1
  • Below Average: 2
  • Average: 3-4
  • Good: 5-7
  • Excellent: 8-12


We directly import premium meat from Japan farm and provide value-added service to our B2B customers in Singapore, like Supermarket, Meat Shop, Restaurants, Hotels etc.