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Marbling

Marbling is the fine flecks of fat that appear within the muscles of red meat (also referred to as intramuscular fat).  It is deposited unevenly throughout the body, with most present in the forequarter cuts.

 

Marbling is the last fat to be deposited and so it is the first fat to be used by the animal as an energy store.  Therefore to maximise marbling within red meat, cattle must be on a highly nutritious diet- whether that be grass or grain. Different types of farming methods produce different results. 

Marbling can also be affected by genetics.  For example breeds such as Wagyu, a Bos Taurus breed of cattle marble extensively. It does have a positive effect on eating quality, and it is this marbling that contributes to the juiciness and flavour of meat.