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Anyone Aware of \"Meat Glue\"?

JasperJasper Posts: 378
edited 5:20AM in EggHead Forum
I saw this interesting, and a bit alarming, news clip on a product called "Meat Glue", where some butchers and restaurants are gluing together bits of meat to create a prime cut and selling it as such. It's an Australian news clip but I wonder how much it's being used in North America without the public knowing. I don't know if it has to be labeled on your meat.


  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 7,803
    WOW. First viewing of this.
    Thank you,

    Galveston Texas
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,874
    Yup, have heard about it for about a year. As far as I know, some restaurants have been using it for several years. No report of any problems so far. Saw a blog entry about where someone partially de-boned chicken leg quarters, then used meat glue to fasten breast skin across the cut open area, so that the pieces were surrounded by crisp skin after frying.

    For example:
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    That was interesting. I am glad you posted it.

    I guess that the only clue is that mother nature does not make cuts of meat that are all nice and round and the same diameter for many many pieces.

    I once bought some bacon wrapped fillets and one of my guests did not want any prok so I removed the bacon and the steak fell into two pieces. I did not think anything about it, but the comment about food safety -- that is, what was on the outside is now inside and will not see the temperatures needed to make it safe.
  • PattyOPattyO Posts: 883
    Pressed, chopped, flaked and shaped. Been around for years. Look at some deli meats. You think it's chicken breast? And chopped ham very common here in PA. Steak Ums. And lots more.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    not quite the same, but your point is a good one.

    thing is, that reconstitutd stuff is often precooked and taken to 'safe' temps.

    if i cut a primal in half, and make steaks from one half and hamburger from the other, and then cook the burgers and steaks to 'rare', the burgers are less safe than the steaks by faf.

    the deli meats you talk about are cooked, not raw, and the bacteria is long-dead.

    the issue with the glued stuff, and pieced together tenderloins, is that you can not understand you are cooking the exterior of the meat (now present in the interior, and potentially harboring fecal bacteria) to temperatures that do not destroy the bacteria.. in a whole piece, the bacteria are external, and destroyed by cooking
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,874
    Reading around a bit more, I find that the imitation crab that my wife likes is probably formed with transglutimase.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    Excellent points Strike.

    For me the issue is more about knowing that they are doing it than the fact that they are doing it.

    I do not see how steaks, intended to be cooked rare, could be considered safe.

    That said, I am a big fan of irradiating food to make sure it is safe.....

    IMHO, it is a natural for eggs, milk and veggies intended to be eaten raw.

    That will probably start a food fight.
  • BucketheadBuckethead Posts: 285
    And is Pollock fish! Shapped formed color added to give the look of crab or lobster.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    gdenby wrote:
    Reading around a bit more, I find that the imitation crab that my wife likes is probably formed with transglutimase.

    I do not have a problem with the product per se, but I think that when you are mixing animal products (beef and pork were mentioned) you are getting into an area that could seriously offend a lot of people.

    The point is, it needs to be disclosed.

    The food safety question on foods not already cooked or intended to be well cooked is a separate issue.
  • BucketheadBuckethead Posts: 285
    Natural meat glue, protein! Cut a piece of meat and feel the surface you just cut. Sticky... That is the natural extraction of the protien coming to the surface of the meat. What holds 100% ground beef together if no binding agents are added? Protein... Yes when you grind meat and the proteins are extraced from the meat during the grinding process that is the natural binder. Another process of extracting proteins is vacume tumbling the meat, the proteins again rise to the surface. (this process is used in the production of ham, turkey breast for further processing to bind pieces together. did you actually think the turkey breast in the deli counter was one turkey breast?) And yes when you grind meat it is exposed throughout to external bacteria. So fresh ground beef is better.
    Just facts
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    just facts, true, but it's not protein, but rather enzyme action from enzymes produced by bacteria and derived from coagulants in the blood of pigs. not exactly the same thing.
    there are a couple seminal points that can't be dismissed, though, even if the turkey in the case is reconstituted...

    1.) the consumer should be informed that the steak they are paying for comprises trimmings which would otherwise be waste

    and that 2.) it is not safe to treat the product in the same way (cooking to the same level of done-ness) as a whole piece.

    again, the turkey in the case is labeled specifically to address the fact that it isn't whole turkey breast (which answers issue#1). and it is fully cooked (which answers issue#2)

    i think the molecular gastronomists who are using the stuff to make noodels from shrimp, for example, and who are clear and inventive avbout it, are acting above board.

    but it's not logical to say that because a chicken nugget is pureed chicken recomposed into a suitable shape, that it's fine to sell a rib eye as a whole, integral, chunk of meat, as opposed to pointing out that it is made from trimmings, and may have bacteria in the interior.

    not trying to get into an argument with anyone, but it does not make sense to equate a steak sold at full-price, unlabeled as to it's frankensteinian nature, with low-end turkey roll in a deli case, labeled on the package (ask to see it) and sold fully cooked.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,785
    I always thought that was something made from old horses..
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,785
    I've got a dozen, extra-large, ready & waiting! 8 - )
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    Or "Slow" horses...

    Spring "And They're Off And Running Behind" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • chocdocchocdoc Posts: 461
    I have some in the freezer actually. Haven't gotten around to playing with it yet. Going to see if I can find a picture of the 'frankenchicken' to show you guys one of the uses for it.

    check out the second picture

    They are also using the transglutaminase to make a meat dumpling wrapped in chicken skin - the perfect little deep fried treat!
  • You mean like Jack-N-The-Box tacos?
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