Nikuya Meats, Kobe Beef, Wagyu, Kurobuta Pork, Japanese Meat, Canada - our view marbling

By: Nikuya Meats  09-12-2011
Keywords: Beef, marbling, Feeding Program

In Japan, beef quality is commonly referenced to the marbling content which is graded on a Beef Marbling Standard of No. 1 – 12, with No. 1 having practically no marbling to No. 12 being completely white with marbling.  The Japanese Beef Marbling Grading is very strict.  Based on our own visual evaluation, if we were to use the Japanese scale of BMS 1 – 12, our comparison of the Japanese, Australian, American Wagyu Beef and Canadian Graded Beef products in terms of marbling would be as follows.  (Please note this is our opinion and differs from the official grading parameters used for BMS grading in Japan.)

Grade BMS Grade
Canada A
Canada AA
Canada AAA
Canada Prime
American Kobe Beef (Black)
American Kobe Beef (Gold)
Australian Wagyu (MB9+)
Japanese Wagyu (A4)
Japanese Wagyu (A5)
BMS No. 1
BMS No. 2
BMS No. 3
BMS No. 4
BMS No. 5
BMS No. 6
BMS No. 7-8
BMS No. 8-9
BMS No. 9-10

Japanese Wagyu A5 Grade is rare even in Japan.  An A5 grade with BMS 11 or 12 is extremely rare and in most likelihood has not yet been exported overseas.

Studies have indicated that Angus beef averages BMS of 2 but cannot achieve BMS greater than 5. On the other hand, Wagyu cattle averages BMS 4 – 6 but depending on quality of genetics, controlled feeding program and age at time of slaughter, can on very rare occasions reach the top grade of BMS 12. In Japan, for beef cuts to be considered of ‘Kobe’ quality, they must exhibit BMS of 5 or higher. Therefore, Nikuya only imports products higher than the American Kobe Beef Black Grade (BMS 5).  

Marbling is one factor which determines meat quality.  Usually more marbling equates to more tenderness.  More equally distributed marbling equates to more consistent tenderness and flavour throughout the piece of meat.  More marbling combined with more consistent marbling equates to better piece of meat since it is more difficult to produce a product with finer streaks of marbling that is consistently distributed throughout the piece of meat.  Therefore, pricing of the Wagyu Beef products are usually consistent with the products marbling.  The highest marbled product from Japan would be most expensive, followed by Australian and American. 

Flavour on the other hand is mainly dependent on the feed given to the animals.  The Japanese and Australian products are raised to meet the taste profile preferred mainly by the Japanese market.  Therefore, these products provide a silky rich flavour and a mild well-rounded taste.  On the other hand, although the American Kobe Beef is not as well marbled as the other two products, it has a very unique ‘buttery’ flavour.

Each product line targets different customers.

  1. Japanese product – geared towards customers who demand the absolute best without compromise.   
  2. Australian product – geared towards customers who want a similar experience but need to take cost into consideration.
  3. American product – geared towards customers who want a uniquely excellent experience and with the best value.

Keywords: Beef, Feeding Program, Kobe Beef, marbling,

Other products and services from Nikuya Meats


Nikuya Meats, Kobe Beef, Wagyu, Kurobuta Pork, Japanese Meat, Canada - american kobe beef

Nikuya’s American Wagyu Beef is produced from the progeny of the top marbling Japanese Wagyu bull in the US, born in the Kobe region of Japan, crossed with premium American Black Angus. Combined with this superior genetics, the cattle are raised on a proven all-natural, slow-paced Japanese feeding program free of growth promoting hormones or animal-by products.


Nikuya Meats, Kobe Beef, Wagyu, Kurobuta Pork, Japanese Meat, Canada - american kurobuta pork

Raised with great care in a network of small family farms in the Midwest United States, the meat is darker in colour and richly flavorful compared to traditional white commodity pork that tends to be bland and dry. Nikuya’s American Kurobuta (Japanese Black Hog) is 100% pure Berkshire Pork that is fed 10% longer than commodity hogs. Nikuya’s American Kurobuta Pork is supplied by the same supplier as our American Kobe Beef.


Nikuya Meats, Kobe Beef, Wagyu, Kurobuta Pork, Japanese Meat, Canada - japanese wagyu kobe beef

Only Kobe Beef raised and slaughtered in Hyogo Prefecture can be called “Kobe Beef” but currently there are no meat packing plants in Hyogo Prefecture that are eligible to export their beef overseas. Nikuya’s Japanese Wagyu Beef is selected from carcasses meeting the top two grades of A4 and A5 as determined by the Japanese Meat Grading Association.


Nikuya Meats, Kobe Beef, Wagyu, Kurobuta Pork, Japanese Meat, Canada - default

To provide our customers with absolutely the finest tasting meat products available in Canada, we have carefully selected each one of our products. These products far exceed the quality of regular products produced for the domestic market and are usually not available domestically. Many of our products have been specifically developed by our suppliers over the years for the demanding Japanese export market.


Nikuya Meats, Kobe Beef, Wagyu, Kurobuta Pork, Japanese Meat, Canada - australian wagyu kobe beef

To further guarantee the healthy nature of Nikuya’s Australian Wagyu Beef, none of the cattle are treated with antibiotic or growth hormones, nor fed any genetically modified feeds. As with our Japanese and American origin products, all primal cuts are fully traceable and the whole of life history of the cattle are maintained by our supplier.