Five links on Friday: This week in transglutaminase.

  • What is transglutaminase? – according to Wikipedia, they:

    are a family of enzymes…that catalyze the formation of a covalent bond between a free amine group (e.g., protein- or peptide-bound lysine) and the gamma-carboxamid group of protein- or peptide-bound glutamine. Bonds formed by transglutaminase exhibit high resistance to proteolytic degradation.

    In layman’s terms, it’s meat glue. They let you glue protein-y things together, like gluing bacon to fish or more commonly, gluing mechanically- separated meats into chicken nuggets. It woud be what you’d find on the buffet on the Island of Dr Moreau. If you’ve never heard of it or the brand Activa before, my guess is that your reaction would be similar to Prendick’s discovery of Moreau’s vivisectionist ways:

  • “Monsters manufactured!” said I. “Then you mean to tell me–”

    “Yes. These creatures you have seen are animals carven and wrought into new shapes. To that, to the study of the plasticity of living forms, my life has been devoted. I have studied for years, gaining in knowledge as I go. I see you look horrified, and yet I am telling you nothing new. It all lay in the surface of practical anatomy years ago, but no one had the temerity to touch it.”

  • What is Activa then? – it is Ajinomoto’s brand name for their transglutaminase products. Let them explain it to you
  • Alex and Aki from Ideas in Food reinvent popcorn shrimp – with chicken skin! and meat glue!
  • Food Trends: too much Activa is never enough – NY mag unsuccessfully attempts to coin the term "Frankensteak"
  • Food Trends: For the love of Activa – Hock from Gutfeelings glues together some 9+ wagyu scraps into saleable steak.