Blog | The Science of Marbling: How It Impacts Beef Quality and Flavor

Blog | The Science of Marbling: How It Impacts Beef Quality and Flavor
Marbling is a vital aspect of high-quality beef, and it affects the flavour and texture of the meat. We carefully select our cattle at Matangi to ensure that they have the appropriate breeding for producing marbled meat with great taste and tenderness.

When it comes to the science of marbling, here are some significant factors to consider:

The Role of Intramuscular Fat

The term "marbling" refers to the visible fat found in beef muscle tissue also known as intramuscular fat which is responsible for the meat's richness and tenderness.

But what is intramuscular fat, and why is it so important?

Intramuscular fat is fat that accumulates in an animal's muscle tissue as it matures. This form of fat is distinct from subcutaneous fat, which is found beneath the skin. Intramuscular fat is essential because it imparts taste and softness to the beef.

The more marbling there is in the meat, the more intramuscular fat there is, and the beef will be more tasty and tender. So, when choosing a high-quality steak, pay attention to the marbling, as it acts as an excellent indication of the meat's tenderness and taste.

Why is Marbling Important?

Marbling matters because it improves eating quality in multiple ways:
  • It Improves Texture
Marbling makes beef easier to chew since it has less muscle fibre and collagen per unit volume of meat.
  • It Has Higher Nutritional Value
Marbled beef is higher in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

  • It Enhances Tenderness
Intramuscular fat helps to tenderise muscle tissue.

  • Gives a Better Flavour
Marbled beef is moist and juicy, which adds to the overall eating experience. Intramuscular fat has a sweet, buttery flavour that adds to the overall flavour profile of the beef.

A common misconception is that highly marbled beef is more fatty and thus not a healthy "lean" protein alternative. The good news is that, unlike subcutaneous fat, marbling is predominantly composed of heart-healthy oleic acid, the same fatty acid found in olive oil. Oleic acid has been found in humans to lower "bad" cholesterol while perhaps increasing "good" cholesterol.

Factors That Affect Marbling

The amount of marbling that a particular cut of beef has is determined by several factors, including:

  • Genetics
Our Angus cattle are known for their exceptional marbling potential. We select breeding lines with great care to ensure that our calves produce meat with high levels of intramuscular fat, which gives our beef its famous tenderness and flavour.
  • Diet
Our Angus cattle are exclusively grass-fed. We believe that a 100% grass diet is better for our cattle and better for our environment. Our results tell us that when animals with the right breeding traits are fed grass only, they have the ability to produce excellent marbling in their beef.
  • Age
Animals reach their full potential for marbling at a minimum of 24 months. For this reason our animals are not processed before this time. Cattle are selected on a weekly basis from 24 months, based on their condition.

  • Condition of the soil
We recognise the link between land and beef quality, which is why we carefully select and maintain our holdings within the Tuki Tuki catchment. Our cattle flourish in an environment of abundant grass, healthy soil, and clean water supplies. We even plant native trees, fence off waterways, and preserve our water sources to safeguard and improve our property. We are able to create beef with amazing marbling that is packed with flavour and tenderness by ensuring our cattle have access to the greatest possible nutrition and environment.

Our Mission to Deliver Quality Angus Beef

Our mission is to offer New Zealanders with the greatest quality Angus beef possible, and we accomplish this by emphasising the value of marbling. We believe that the marbling in our cattle not only enhances the flavour and texture of the meat, but also delivers multiple health advantages.

We are confident that our clients receive the freshest and most flavorful product possible by keeping our beef local. If you love fine meat, we advise you to try our marbled Angus beef today and experience the difference for yourself. Order now and enjoy the greatest meat New Zealand has to offer!


Related articles

Browse all articles
Browse all recipies