Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Transglutaminase – Meat Glue – Is your Steak All There? December 19, 2011

CFN – Is it possible that the steak on your dinner plate this evening was glued together from left over parts, mixed with “meat glue” then rolled, refrigerated and sliced to look like a real fillet of beef?  Apparently yes according to some information that landed in my inbox this last week.

Enter “transglutaminase”, more commonly known as meat glue.  This is a powdered enzyme derived from beef and pork blood plasma.  This mixed with various meat scraps is then kneaded together then rolled in a material such as waxed paper to allow the enzyme to react with the meat so that the scraps adhere together once being allowed to rest in the refrigerator for about six hours.  Once the curing time is finished remove the paper and slice the now solid piece of meat into fillets for the grill or frying pan.The enzyme acts like a coagulant; binding the meat surfaces when mixed together.
So is this something that should concern us?  According to The French Culinary Institute’s blog,( LINK)  …meat glue is safe.
They say that transglutaminase, TG, is neutralized by most cooking processes.  As TG is a powder it is recommended that masks be worn when working with the product so as not to inhale the powder.
“TG should not be consumed directly in large quantities however consuming TG in levels recommended for food usage is harmless.”  
TG is “generally recognized as safe” by the US Food and Drug Administration.  Further more the above site mentions studies which have come to opposite conclusions as to how the human body breaks down the protein bonded with TG.  One study indicating difficulty breaking down the bonded protein and another showing the bonded proteins absorbed and broken down as if they had not been bonded.
The following   video    takes a look at how this glue is used in the marketplace.  In this video concern is voiced about the higher likelihood of food poisoning from glued meat products, particularly when an item is cooked rare or medium rare.  The bacteria count on a glued together steak is one hundred times higher as this cut now includes many more surfaces which have been exposed to the elements and are now glued together.  For someone who relishes a rare or medium rare steak this now increases one’s risk to food borne bacteria.
So we know that consuming food which has been treated with growth hormones, anti-bacterial agents or anti-biotics can affect our bodily functioning.  Should we be concerned about what affect consumption of transglutaminase, a blood clotting substance will have on our bodies particularly if we consume the derivative product raw or rare?
I would certainly be talking to my health care professional if my current health situation was keeping an eye out for blood clots or if I was on a daily regime of blood thinners.
Your commentary is encouraged and always welcome below or to
In remembrance of a child that was born to live as a shining soul of great love and understanding we at Earth Matters would like to take this opportunity to wish our readers a Very Merry Christmas and all the very best in the New Year.


  1. More and more stories about the food industry are starting to see the light of day.
    I think that the fact that the European Union has banned meat glue speaks volumes. If it’s considered to be unhealthy for Europeans, is it ok for North Americans? I think the answer is obvious.

    You can bet the fast food industry is cashing in on this scam especially, as the cooks in the video demonstrate, it’s hard to tell the difference in the taste of real meat and meat with ‘glue’ added..

    Imagine, you can buy a hamburger out there which was made from meat gathered off of the slaughter house floor(watch Food Inc), with a little MSG added and now a bit of meat glue thrown in, add a few condiments laced with additives, and what more could you ask for? It’s a slow deterioration of the health of our bodies. The Eastern Ontario Health unit should be issuing an alert to at least warn people about these risks.

    It will be interesting to watch the response to this article.

  2. I am not sure how many of you are familiar with the actual cuts of meat and how they are prepared, but i can assure you what we see today is hardly how it comes from the animal. I think it is safe to say glue is only a portion of what we ned to worry about,

    I am sure Reg can attest to this as well

  3. I don’t think anyone would eat McRibs or Chicken McNuggets if they had any idea how they are made and what’s in them.

  4. I agree with smee, anyway, TG enzyme is bonding protein so it is the physical reaction instead of the chemical reaction, even it is fermented production, trust FDA, and EU just worry the meat glue can change the product taste as less meat put in.

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