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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Meat Glue, or, How to make a “Frankensteak” or “Fake Steak”

It is generally regarded as safe (GRAS) here in the U.S.

Thrombian, or Transglutaminase (TG), otherwise known as Meat Glue is an enzyme that catalyzes covalent bonds between free amine groups and gamma-caroxminid groups of protein or peptide bond gluatamine. Meat Glue is composed of thrombin and fibrogen, obtained from blood plasma. It has been used by the meat industry as a food additive for reconstituting fresh meat to create a product of desirable size and form. The method can also be applied to poultry, fish and seafood. Basically, the enzyme enables food processors to stick various types of meat together. (a.k.a., “Frankensteak”).

Food Safety News first reported on it in 2010. Since then there has been a growing interest in topic. Here are a few:

From WTAE Pittsburgh

From our friends “downunder”

And, Meat Glue to rock music

My “beef” with it is safety – gluing pieces of meat together increases the risk of bacterial contamination inside the meat that then may not be fully cooked.  And, there is simply a consumers right to know what the hell they are eating and what they are paying for.  Here are a few interviews I have done on Meat Glue:

 

I did get the following letter that you might find interesting.

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  • Paul F Schwarz

    Besides being a food safety issue isn’t this also fraud? At least false advertising. How does the industry get away with this?
    Paul A Schwarz
    Section 51 Row 1 Grave 3 Ft Leavenworth/Leavenworth National Cemetery