Recipes

Meat Grading

The factors used in grade assessment are directly related to the tenderness, juiciness, consumer acceptability, shelf life and yield of a carcass.

CHARACTERISTIC INFLUENCE ON QUALITY
Maturity (age) The age of an animal affects the tenderness.
Sex Pronounced masculinity in animals affects meat colour and palatability.
Conformation (muscling) Meat yield is influenced by the degree of muscling.
Fat (colour, texture and cover) Fat colour and texture influence consumer acceptability where as fat cover affects yield.
Meat (colour, texture and marbling Meat marbling affects eating quality for juiciness and tenderness. Colour and texture influence consumer acceptability.
 
THE QUALITY GRADES
Grade Maturity (Age) Muscling Rib Eye Muscle Marbling * Fat Colour and Texture Fat Measure
CANADA PRIME Youthful Good to excellent with some deficiencies Firm, bright red Slightly abundant Firm, white or amber 2 mm or more
CANADA A, AA, AAA Youthful Good to excellent with some deficiencies Firm, bright red A- trace
AA - slight
AAA - small
Firm, white or amber 2 mm or more
B1 Youthful Good to excellent with some deficiencies Firm, bright red Devoid Firm, white or amber Less than 2 mm
B2 Youthful Deficient to excellent Bright red No requirement Yellow No requirement
B3 Youthful Deficient to good Bright red No requirement White or amber No requirement
B4 Youthful Deficient to excellent Dark red No requirement No requirement No requirement
D1 Mature Excellent No requirement No requirement Firm, white or amber Less than 15 mm
D2 Mature Medium to excellent No requirement No requirement White to yellow Less than 15 mm
D3 Mature Deficient No requirement No requirement No requirement Less than 15 mm
D4 Mature Deficient to excellent No requirement No requirement No requirement 15 mm or more
E Youthful or mature Pronounced masculinity

*MARBLING: The assessment of marbling is based on the average amount, size and distribution of fat particles or deposits in the rib eye.  Canadian beef carcass grading utilizes only four of the nine recognized levels of marbling from the USDA marbling standards.  Listed in order of increased marbling content the nine levels are:  Traces, Slight, Small, Modest, Moderate, Slightly Abundant, Moderately Abundant, Abundant and Very Abundant

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