The AUS-MEAT Marbling system provides an indication of the amount of marbling in beef. It uses a scale of 0 (no intramuscular fat) to 9 (extreme amounts of intramuscular fat) in increments of 1.
The Aussies don’t just want to know how much marbling is present. The MSA marbling system provides an additional indication of distribution and piece size of the marbling. You want marbling like fine little dots spread around evenly everywhere.
Since the assessment criteria are different for both standards, both the AUS-MEAT and MSA scores are provided.
But you never know. From a marketing perspective, a “Grade 400” steak sounds better than “Grade 5” even though the latter is higher, so it’s good to know the difference.