What Is Marbling in Steak? Marbling is the white flecks of intramuscular fat in meat, most notably red meat. The fat in lean muscle creates a marble pattern—hence the name. Marbling affects meat’s juiciness, tenderness, texture, and flavor—attributes that determine the eating experience. Intramuscular fat should not be confused with intermuscular fat, which is the fat between the muscles. That fat, which you typically trim off, does not enhance a piece of meat. In the culinary arts, the word marbling refers to white flecks and streaks of fat within the lean sections of meat. Marbling is so named because the streaks of fat resemble a marble pattern. Also called intramuscular fat, marbling adds flavor and is one of the main criteria for judging the quality of cuts of meat. In general, the more marbling it contains, the better a cut of meat is.
What Factors Affect Meat Marbling? Marbling is a measure of quality, and as such the meat industry is always using meat science to make production more predictable and uniform, to boost profits. The following factors affect marbling in beef. please go here to this blog and know more about Behind Meat Marbling.
Breed_ Certain breeds have higher marbling scores on average due to the way they metabolize food. Cattle breeds such as Angus, Murray Grey, Herefords, Shorthorns, Japanese Wagyu, and Kobe are all high-quality breeds. Dairy breeds such as Jersey, Holstein-Friesian, and Braunvieh stand out as well. The breed can also affect the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids. For example, Wagyu, which is higher in Omega-3s, is a healthier breed of cattle.
Muscle use_ The same principles that apply to building lean muscle and burning fat at the gym apply to animals and marbling. Less heavily worked muscles, like the loin, have more fat and thus produce the most marbled cuts. Active leg, shoulder, and rump muscles result in leaner, less marbled cuts.
Feed_ The type of feed and time that an animal feeds play an important role in marbling. If beef cattle aren’t gaining weight properly, marbling will disappear from their muscles quickly. Cattle that feed on grain often marble more easily than strictly grass-fed cattle, but not every feed is the same and, due to metabolism, not every breed is the same. The grass pellets used in industrial feedlots may lack the nutrients of grass on open pastures and rangelands.