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Authentic Wagyu Beef Imported into UK

11 June 2014

JAPAN - Authentic Japanese Wagyu Beef has been imported into the UK for the first time.

The beef comes from ZEN-NOH, Japan’s largest Agricultural Co-operative Federation, following the authorisation of Japanese beef imports into the EU last year.

Celebrated by chefs and critics alike, Wagyu beef is famous for its exceptional quality and taste.

Authentic Wagyu beef is distinguished by its incredible eating quality, from the characteristic intense marbling to its unrivalled rich and buttery flavour, along with melt-in-the-mouth tenderness and juiciness.

Until now, the “wagyu” beef enjoyed in Britain has only ever come from countries other than Japan, such as Australia or even the UK.

The cattle from which this “wagyu” beef is derived are often hybrids, where Wagyu breeds (“Wa” literally means Japanese, and “gyu” cattle or beef) have been crossbred with other American or Australian breeds. In contrast, authentic Japanese Wagyu beef must come from one of only four eligible breeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled.

Each Wagyu calf in Japan is registered individually, with detailed information on pedigree listed on its certificate. This ensures that ancestry is fully traceable, and that products sold as Wagyu beef are always from pedigree cattle.

In Japan, Wagyu beef is assessed according to a standardised five-scale grading system (five being the highest), which examines the quality of the meat in the following four categories: marbling, flesh colour and shine, firmness and texture, fat colour and shine.

Wagyu beef is also ranked according to yield grade, at A for above average yield, down to a below-average C.

ZEN-NOH will only be importing into the UK beef recognised as high grade according to this system.
Only authentic Japanese Wagyu bears this 'Universal Wagyu Mark'. The mark can therefore be used as a guide to ensure the consumer can always select high-quality, great-tasting authentic Wagyu meat products.

Wagyu beef is rich in amino acids and contains a great deal more oleic acid, a type of mono-unsaturated fatty acid, than other beef. This makes Wagyu beef a healthier product and suited to a well-balanced diet.

Yoshimi Nakano, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ZEN-NOH, said: “We understand that authentic Japanese Wagyu beef has an excellent reputation worldwide so we are delighted to finally be able to import what we consider the highest quality produce from Japan. This is a product which we believe will truly exceed expectations.”

 

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