Meat Glue: Disgusting and Dangerous
Most of you have probably heard about pink slime, a sludge of low quality meat, but have you ever heard of meat glue? Maybe you’ve eaten it without knowing if you live in a country that has yet to ban the use of it.
What is meat glue?
Meat glue is an enzyme called transglutaminase. The enzyme is taken from the blood of animals like pigs or cows.
What does it do?
The meat glue binds proteins together. Meat has a lot of protein so it basically binds smaller pieces of meat into a single piece of meat that can be sliced and passed off as a single cut.
Why is it dangerous?
While the enzyme itself might not be dangerous, although it is very gross, there is a huge danger in binding meats together. Many of us love our meat to be medium rare and typically, if cooked properly, medium rare meat is safe to consume and the reason why it is safe is because all of the bacteria remain on the outer layer of the meat. When you cook a regular slice of meat all of the bacteria on the outside dies off making your medium rare meat safe to eat. When you glue several pieces of meat together you introduce the bacteria into the insides of the meat. This bacteria can cause a food poisoning that could potentially be deadly for you. You would need to cook this meat extremely well in the oven to ensure that the bacteria in the inside gets killed.
I live in the United States and I wanted to know if I could have consumed glued meat. What I found is that the enzyme transglutaminase is sold in United States by a Japanese company named Ajinomoto under the brand Activa. It is actually sold on Amazon for $97.99 as a 2.2lb bag.
Be safe and remember to be careful with what you eat. Some people are just interested in profit margins without regard to your health.