Agilent Uncovers the Secrets of Wagyu Beef

One of the most expensive foods in the world is Wagyu Beef, which can cost you hundreds of dollars a pound.  Japan has carefully controlled the breeding of these unique cattle for 150 years.  (“Wa gyu” literally means “Japanese cow”.)

Wagyu beef is known for its tenderness and extraordinary depth of flavor.

Japanese researchers wanted to analyze exactly what makes Wagyu so unique.  Their equipment included an Agilent gas chromatograph equipped with a thermal conductivity detector, a GC/MS and columns.

The researchers discovered that Wagyu’s taste is closely connected to its sweet, coconut-like aroma.  And they identified 16 compounds behind this unique smell, including 10 that were newly identified.  The strongest of these derive from fatty acid.

Ultimately, the researchers want to know whether any of Wagyu’s unique compounds are adaptable to other kinds of beef.  But they conclude that a more detailed study is needed.  “This finding suggested that there were still many unknown compounds in the flavor of the Wagyu beef,” they write, “because most of the compounds were newly identified.”

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