Colour of fat is heavily influenced by feeding regime and specifically the intake of carotene in the animals’ diet. Genetically, some breeds are more susceptible to yellow fat. Pasture fed cattle may produce a yellowish or creamy coloured fat. Grain feeding over a period of time produces white fat.
Fat colour is assessed on the intermuscular fat at the quartering site and scoring is measured using the AUSMEAT fat colour standards ranging from 0 (white) to 7 (yellow). Consumers have strong preferences for firm white fat. Yellow fat is less desirable. Fat colour affects the saleability and appearance of beef, but has little impact on its eating quality.