ALTHOUGH Wagyu beef originated from Japan, due to increasing worldwide demand, other countries are now farming the breed of cattle and selling Wagyu beef.
Japan Livestock Products Export Promotion Council recognised the need to distinguish authentic halal-certified Wagyu beef from Japan and recently introduced its QR Code technology in Malaysia.
The QR Code allows consumers, restaurants, supermarkets and meat handlers to check on the origins of the meat in order to get assurance of its origin and authenticity.
“There is illegal use of Wagyu logo and the term Wagyu is also used loosely, ” said council director Tsuyoshi Hishinuma.
“This leads to misconception in the market and variations in the quality and taste of meat.
“By scanning the QR Code, you can access all the necessary and important information such as the breed of the cattle, prefecture of farm, date of birth and date of slaughter, ” he added.
Hishinuma was speaking at the Wagyu Seminar and Tasting Session held at Parkroyal, Kuala Lumpur.
In Japan, Wagyu cattle are registered through a traceability system, allowing people to check the status of the Wagyu beef wherever they are, including in retail stores and restaurants.
The QR Code can be scanned with smartphones and customers can look out for the official logo which is an outline of a cow’s head against a backdrop of the Japan flag and “Beef Japan” written on it.
Other than the type of breed, people can also check on the grade of the Wagyu beef, which is divided into two categories: yield and meat quality.
Japanese Wagyu beef has a unique quality due to the nurture and extreme care given with special techniques and technology.
Each cow is fed nutritious food such as corn, soybeans and wheat as well as high quality rice straw in the right proportion.
Famous for its rich flavour, texture and aroma that resembles the sweet scent of peaches and coconuts, rather than being greasy, the meat has a melt-in-the-mouth effect.
Over the last five years, Wagyu beef has seen a 400% increase in exports on a global scale.
In 2017, Japan began exporting halal Wagyu to Malaysia and Malaysians can now search for the premium meat in many restaurants, hotels and supermarkets.