ATHENS, Ga. — Many of the top breeders have entered a unique competition that defines the most outstanding ribeye steaks from Wagyu cattle bred and raised in the US. It combines advanced technology with the art of cattle raising to offer a new way to determine quality.
Five categories of excellence will be used to analyze each contestant’s ribeye entry:
- The Japanese Carcass Camera. This year, new grading technology uses an app to turn a smartphone into a highly specialized carcass grading device. This digital technology reveals precisely how much marbling a piece of the famed beef derived from Japanese genetics may contain.
- Complete Fatty Acid Profile
- Total Lipid Extraction
- The Warner Bratzler Shear Force test for tenderness (the breed standard)
- A Professionally Trained Taste Panel
The scores compiled from all of the analysis will determine the Triple Crown winner and recipient of the $3,000 grand prize announced on November 17, 2020. Cash will also be awarded to the winner of each category.
“Raising the bar beyond taste and using precise, objective scientific valuations are most important in proving the merits of a producer’s carcass, which, in turn, determines value,” said Desi Cicale, founder of the Triple Crown Steak Challenge. “The new Japanese phone app will open the door for all breeders to photograph their carcasses and have them graded to gain insight into their beef. The data gleaned from one photograph is immensely useful to breeders, producers, and consumers.” meatimaging.com
A unified grading system and a printout of the health benefits will provide consumers with verification of the various producer programs. The ultimate goal is to acknowledge the Champions of the Triple Crown Steak Challenge and educate consumers about Wagyu beef and its health benefits. The competition will also encourage consumers to buy Wagyu from the Steak Challenge entrants and connect them to local breeders in their area.
Triple Crown entrants have sent their frozen steaks to the Meat and Science Department at the University of Georgia to be tested by Dr. Dean Pringle, President of the American Meat Science Association. A video of the testing will be available to view by anyone who signs up at triplecrownsteakchallenge.com.
Signing up automatically enters visitors for a Wagyu Ribeye Steak Gift Box, drawing on November 17 at a live online auction of the winning steaks.
The event also encourages everyone to Judge the steaks online for a chance to win prizes and cash. During the event consumers will be provided with educational information to assist in choosing a winner. There is also a Junior category for youth 18 and under with cash awards. The interactive Triple Crown Steak Challenge offers something for everyone. The live online auction will help raise funds for the Southern Wagyu Alliance Youth program, dedicated to providing a valuable resource for future Wagyu ranchers in the US.