Andrews Meat Industries uses MSA to underpin the beef brands that we represent. Programs such as Grainge Angus Beef, Cape Grim Natural Beef and Riverina Beef are all underpinned by MSA which means they have met the MSA standard of quality. Additional quality requirements are then specified to ensure the superiority of the brands.

graded logo
CIPHERS (OR CATEGORY)

There are a number of different categories of beef otherwise known as Ciphers. The Cipher is determined by dentition (the number of permanent incisor teeth an animal has which consequently increases with age). A Cipher is a way of broadly categorising products based on their age and sex.

BEEF CIPHERS TEETH Age MEAT QUALITY
Y, YG 0-2 Up to 30 months Very tender, pale colour, light flavour
YP, YPS, PR 0-6 Up to 36 months Very tender, pale colour, more developed/mature flavour
S, OX 0-7 Up to 42 months Declining tenderness, tighter texture, darker meat colour, higher inconsistency in eating quality
C, BUDGET 8 Over 42 months Inconsistent fat coverage, shallow & small muscles, tight texture and dark meat colour.
 


MARBLING

Marbling is the intramuscular fat which appears as fine flecks within the muscles of red meat. It is deposited unevenly throughout the body, increasing through the carcase towards the neck and decreasing towards the tail. Marbling is deposited last in the animal and is also utilised first when an animal needs energy. Therefore in order to maximise marbling, cattle are fed a highly nutritious diet (grass or grain) to ensure they receive enough energy so that marbling is more easily deposited.

Marbling is however affected by genetics; breeds such as Wagyu are genetically more likely to deposit marbling, Angus and other British breeds of cattle are also predisposed to marbling, however it should be noted that there is considerable variation between animals.

Marbling is important to meat quality as it has a positive effect on eating quality contributing largely to the flavour and juiciness of the meat. Marbling is assessed using the AUSMEAT Marbling System which is a 1-9 score as shown in the attached image.

graded logo AUSMEAT
0
MSA
100
AUSMEAT
(0)
MSA
200
AUSMEAT
1
MSA
300
aus meat logo marbling marbling marbling
AUSMEAT
2
MSA
400
AUSMEAT
3
MSA
500
AUSMEAT
4
MSA
600
AUSMEAT
5
MSA
700
marbling marbling marbling marbling
AUSMEAT
6
MSA
800
AUSMEAT
7
MSA
900
AUSMEAT
8
MSA
1000
AUSMEAT
9
MSA
1100
marbling marbling marbling marbling
MEAT COLOUR

Meat Colour is measured as the colour of the rib eye muscle, scoring against the AUS-MEAT Colour Reference Standards.

A darker meat colour suggests that the carcase has come from animals that have experienced stress or poor nutrition. Dark meat usually equates to tougher and drier meat, due to increased water holding capacity. Beef with dark meat colour (above MC3) is not eligible for MSA.

1A
1B
1C
2
3
4
5
6
7
COLOUR
DARKER
THAN
THE 6
CHIP

Colours displayed show the darkest colour of each grading and it is a guide only, not a true representation



FAT COLOUR

Fat colour is the colour of fat adjacent to the rib eye muscle. It is assessed on the chilled carcase and scored against the AUS-MEAT Fat Colour Reference Standards.


The fat colour can be indicative of the nutritional background of the animal. The fat colour will be more yellow in an animal that is older, or has been primarily grass fed, due to beta-carotene content of grass. Grain Fed “GF” or “GFYG” cattle will tend to have a whiter fat colour and must be between 0-3.

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
COLOUR
DARKER
THAN
THE 8
CHIP

Colours displayed show the darkest colour of each grading and it is a guide only, not a true representation