Does transglutaminase, the enzyme that is used to glue bits of meat together, pose any health risks?

closed as off-topic by Catija, Stephie, Ward, Cindy, Debbie M. Apr 2 '17 at 15:44

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  • The question doesn't specify whether it is about consuming something that it has been used correctly on (or incorrectly even), or about handling it. – rackandboneman Apr 3 '17 at 8:47

Transglutaminase (TG) is a naturally occurring enzyme that butchers and chefs, particularly modernist chefs, have been using for a long time. The enzyme bonds proteins, that is why it is also sometimes called "meat glue." It is perfectly safe for consumption. You can read a good primer here.

  • I've never heard of transglutaminase before but this sounds like the answer to what I've been wanting in making casings-free sausages and in shaping thinner pork loins together into a proper thickness. Thank you SO much for the very comprehensive, thorough and scientific link. The science part is important t me in understanding why and if there are potential issues with health and safety. – Jude Apr 1 '17 at 19:08
  • @Jude it can be used for both of the purposes you specify. You can google "Modernist Pantry" for one source for ordering. – moscafj Apr 1 '17 at 19:29
  • I already had just after leaving my comment. Sold as Activa. Going to check at a local butcher plant to see if they might carry it too. Thanks. – Jude Apr 1 '17 at 19:40
  • @Jude there are different formulations. For your applications, use RM. – moscafj Apr 1 '17 at 19:51
  • The health risks, by my understanding, involve the possibility of bacterial contamination on the "inside" (i.e., stick two pieces of meat together, the bacteria that were on the outside will still exist where the former borders were). Not a problem if you cook the meat well, but many people like their meat cooked less. However, I also remember reading that internal bacterial contamination can be just as much of an issue even for solid pieces of meat, so it may not make a difference anyway. – JAB Apr 5 '17 at 0:33

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