What is it?
Transglutaminase, commonly referred to as “meat glue,” is a naturally occurring enzyme to bind proteins. (Note: You’ll never see this ingredient listed on food labels, because it appears to be used primarily by restaurant chefs).
Why is it used?
It is used in beef, poultry, dairy, seafood and other protein-rich products to “glue” together scraps of meat and sell it as a steak, bind bacon to meat, improve the texture of cheese, and do other tricks.
Why should I know about it?
Transglutaminase’s marketer (Ajinomoto) calls it “a revolutionary new way to improve existing food products or allow ‘out of the box’ thinking in making new food products.”
The Center for Science in the Public Interest considers this ingredient a potential safety risk because binding two pieces of food together puts into the protected center of meat or seafood any bacteria that were on the outside of a piece and, hence, easily killed in cooking.