Where are you with "meat glue?"

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I recently saw someone make a fake ribeye with "meat glue" (Transglutaminase AKA) on you tube. While this video talked about passing off cheap cuts as better cuts, I am referring to its legitimate uses. There is chat here and here on its use in veggie burgers, fake crab meat, etc., etc.

As a farm to table foodie, the fresher the better, the less processed the better. I'm not even a Michelin star fan since IMO I find the food generally over-processed and fussy. Plus I HATE smoke and foam! OK, grandstanding over.

How do you pros and great cooks feel about this stuff? I know transglutaminase is cost-effective, and easy. I understand you get what you pay for. I know that all food is chemical. But all that aside, are you comfortable eating it? And, why?
 
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I think it's fine when it's used correctly and responsibly. I think the problem with it is the same problem I see with other advances in food production. People will use it to cut costs and produce a lesser product, though still passing it off and charging as if it's legit. Which is never a good formula for business. I do think some people are doing some real creative dishes with moo glue though.
 
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If you look at the history, you'll understand it was Mc D's that developed and first used the glue for Mc nuggets. The emphasis was on perfectly portioned chunks,( a 1/4 oz +\_ tolerance times a bazillion portions works out to a lot) not necessarily cost effectiveness, but cost is a pretty good bonus too.

What does a high volume catering (airline) kitchen do with a boatload of tenderloin trim? Turn it into Stroganoff? Or glue it back together for perfect 3.5 oz medallions?

In the end, you get what you pay for. An airline can order 2000 beef tenderloin without glue, or with, but there will/should be a price difference. That is the choice the customer should make, not the kitchen....
 
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Using it is one thing... a legitimate use.

"Passing off" a fabricated product of as a better-cut product is another thing... a despicable lie and an unethical practice.
 
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I've been using it for years and I have never seen or even heard of a dining establishment trying to pass off scraps of meat glued together as a steak. I call BS. He lists no sources or names in his video...I suppose it may have happened before in the history of the world, but it certainly isn't a wide ranging practice or common at least from where I stand.

OP, what exactly is "over processed" about something like this? My understanding is that it is an enzyme that occurs naturally and is used to bind proteins. Just because it is used in some processed foods commercially doesn't mean it doesn't have a place in non-industrial settings. What about Michelin food is "processed" more than a farm to table restaurant?
 
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If you look at the history, you'll understand it was Mc D's that developed and first used the glue for Mc nuggets. The emphasis was on perfectly portioned chunks,( a 1/4 oz +\_ tolerance times a bazillion portions works out to a lot) not necessarily cost effectiveness, but cost is a pretty good bonus too.

What does a high volume catering (airline) kitchen do with a boatload of tenderloin trim? Turn it into Stroganoff? Or glue it back together for perfect 3.5 oz medallions?

In the end, you get what you pay for. An airline can order 2000 beef tenderloin without glue, or with, but there will/should be a price difference. That is the choice the customer should make, not the kitchen....
That's completely false. There is no TG in McNuggets, it wasn't "developed" by Mc'Ds. Where did you get that idea?
 
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Hey drirene,

I'm just a chef, I wouldn't use it, and wouldn't want to be known for using "meat glue".

I won't try to stop others from using it either. If you want to announce to your guests "I use meat glue", help yourself.

I don't buy anything that could contain it. I love living near the Amish. I don't think they are up to speed on meat glue... LOL
 
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Hi allenmcpherson,

You're right, I rechecked the websites, and the main binding agent in McNuggets is starch derived from corn, a lot of corn in a McNugget apparently, but no meat glue. I do apologize for not getting my facts right.

That being said, I have worked in kitchens where meat glue was used to "reconstruct" tenderloin. Not my choice, not my call, and as a pastry chef, I shouldn't even know about it, but I do. The glue is available from butcher's spice suppliers.
 
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Hi allenmcpherson,

You're right, I rechecked the websites, and the main binding agent in McNuggets is starch derived from corn, a lot of corn in a McNugget apparently, but no meat glue. I do apologize for not getting my facts right.

That being said, I have worked in kitchens where meat glue was used to "reconstruct" tenderloin. Not my choice, not my call, and as a pastry chef, I shouldn't even know about it, but I do. The glue is available from butcher's spice suppliers.
 
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I've been using it for years and I have never seen or even heard of a dining establishment trying to pass off scraps of meat glued together as a steak. I call BS. He lists no sources or names in his video...I suppose it may have happened before in the history of the world, but it certainly isn't a wide ranging practice or common at least from where I stand.

OP, what exactly is "over processed" about something like this? My understanding is that it is an enzyme that occurs naturally and is used to bind proteins. Just because it is used in some processed foods commercially doesn't mean it doesn't have a place in non-industrial settings. What about Michelin food is "processed" more than a farm to table restaurant?

Hey someday....way back in 1998 I was a banquet Chef that put out 3000 plates on a busy Saturday night. My F&B found a fabricated beef tenderloin product. They take PSMO's and weave them into 1 continuous even tube. You have them cut filets from this by ounces. They brought in samples which I grilled alongside real filets that I cut. At medium rare you could not tell the difference. By weight, the fabricated product lost more when cooked than the real thing.
What ended up happening was a banquet for 400 filets cooked medium rare, and plated became overcooked, and shed liquid all over the plate. I had to order an extra ounce for each filet to make up the difference in weight of the final product.
It was not cost efficient and was not a great product after medium rare.

THAT was 1998....does anyone have any experience with a better product these days?
 
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Did a little research. Ewwww!

According to the LA Times, meat glue was developed by the US military as a less expensive way of feeding soldiers back in WWI and WWII. The military then backed out and industry took over.
The Seattle Times talks about how the meat industry has been operating in the dark for decades with this stuff. It is widely used in meat and non-meat products, and not listed on labels. It is everywhere! Caseless sausage, pizza toppings, tofu, dairy, thickeners, are just a few. It is scary how many items this blood derivative is in.
Chefross, look at Delishably: Food poisoning risk may be increased if this product is not cooked through since the outside of meat is now inside. Medium rare, lol! According to them, McNuggets are also in the mix. This referenced article is worth a read; interesting speculation on health issues too.

I wish this was fake news!
 
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I would have summarized the Seattle Times article a bit differently.

Just sayin’
Lol! I was being kind. Or conservative. Or academic. Or, maybe years of that slime has turned my brain to mush.
 
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dogfood

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I want some!
A reconstructed prime rib might be interesting :)
Turkey? Oh yeah! - no bs carcass cleanup after the fall-asleep dinner! ;-)
 
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I feel like you guys are making a mountain out of a molehill. People seem to have little to no understanding of what it is or what it does and then deride it for being "slime" (what does that even mean in context to this discussion?)

My main use of the product is for when I do things like wrap loins in bacon or ham, to help the bacon adhere to the loin so it doesn't fall apart when cooking. I'll sprinkle some into picked duck confit so that when I make a presse or roulade it holds together better.

I've done the shrimp noodle thing, I've done some stuff like that. It's fun and different.

Some TG production uses blood plasma in synthesis...and red food dye has crushed up beetles, and gelatin is made from animal skin and bones boiled to death.

The sky isn't falling.

Delishably: Food poisoning risk may be increased if this product is not cooked through since the outside of meat is now inside. Medium rare, lol!
I wish this was fake news!

They say the same thing about ground beef. Should we start a thread about that???

That same article talks about MSG being a neurotoxin and has no substantiation to back up any of it's claims. Fear-mongering, trash writing.
 
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Nah, the " slime" is mechanically deboned beef, chicken, or pork. Nothing at all to do with meat glue.

I once had a factory tour of a medium sized meat plant that did mechanical deboned pork: boned-out carcasses and bones went on this conveyor belt, then these Freddy Kruger-like s/s chains attached to a rotating drum basically beat the living (deleted) out of whatever was on the conveyor. As the drum rotated, the chains went through a sort of "comb" where the sludge was collected and moved via auger. The plant owner gleefully pointed out that you could get sloppy and spend less time boning out cuts, and still get your money's worth with the "thing". And as a bonus, the sludge needed no grinding and lent itself perfectly to bind other ground meats in sausage making.

As a result, every time I see "mechanically de boned chicken/beef/pork on a label, the gag reflex starts up even though that plant tour was well over 20 years ago....

But to use meat glue on bacon to ensure it sticks onto roasts is, I think, a pretty legitimate and well intentioned use for the stuff, same with pressed confit. O.t.o.h, using glue to make 24" long tenderloin tubes out of trim is pretty nasty.
 
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Nah, the " slime" is mechanically deboned beef, chicken, or pork. Nothing at all to do with meat glue.

I once had a factory tour of a medium sized meat plant that did mechanical deboned pork: boned-out carcasses and bones went on this conveyor belt, then these Freddy Kruger-like s/s chains attached to a rotating drum basically beat the living (deleted) out of whatever was on the conveyor. As the drum rotated, the chains went through a sort of "comb" where the sludge was collected and moved via auger. The plant owner gleefully pointed out that you could get sloppy and spend less time boning out cuts, and still get your money's worth with the "thing". And as a bonus, the sludge needed no grinding and lent itself perfectly to bind other ground meats in sausage making.

As a result, every time I see "mechanically de boned chicken/beef/pork on a label, the gag reflex starts up even though that plant tour was well over 20 years ago....

But to use meat glue on bacon to ensure it sticks onto roasts is, I think, a pretty legitimate and well intentioned use for the stuff, same with pressed confit. O.t.o.h, using glue to make 24" long tenderloin tubes out of trim is pretty nasty.
 

dogfood

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Perhaps getting off topic a bit..
Used to buy "mechanically deboned" chicken..for homemade dog food, would not use it for anything but.
I believe it was done "in store" (Steveston, BC).
Seemed perfectly fine/OK, but not my preferred method of ground poultry.
As for meat factory tours, went thru a rendering plant in Alberta..scary is an understatement.
 
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What if I told you, the meat industry will take all the little scriggly bits of meat, and fat, even from different parts of the animal (the head, the RUMP, the ribs, even the tail maybe), going so far as to scrape down the bones...they'll even combine the scriggly bits from DIFFERENT ANIMALS in the same batch. They'll take these bits, all the nasty things in a pile that you don't even want to eat, and then they'll run them through this giant industrial machine that literally CHOPS THE MEAT MECHANICALLY into little tiny bits. It basically pre-chews the meat for you...it's so gross. PRE CHEWS you guys. It just chops and mixes all the meat and FAT together, and then these people will package it in boxes and add CARBON MONOXIDE GAS (a known POISON to all animals, including HUMANS, according the FDA, CDC and USDA) to keep the meat from oxidizing. They then send this POISON GAS CHOPPED MEAT on trucks into local supermarkets and restaurants. People eat this stuff!

This stuff must be stopped. I'm no expert or anything (I have read a couple of articles I found on google) but that won't stop me from rampant, baseless speculation about potential harmful effects (CANCER! LUPUS! FLOURIDE! VACCINES!) of a product I hadn't heard of until two days ago and have never seen nor used in real life!

What if I told you, there is a product that millions of people around the globe eat on a daily basis, that is based around the SLAUGHTER and processing of young veal calves!! These inhuman barbarians KILL helpless baby cows, and then rip out their stomach and freeze them, grind them, and mix them with chemicals like di-hydrogen monoxide and sodium chloride. This extracts an ENZYME made from calves stomachs that is used in industrial food production!

People actually hook helpless cows up to MACHINES that pull the liquid from inside the animals mechanically...this liquid is often left to SIT OUT at room temperature for several hours or even OVERNIGHT to sour! Then they add this chemically extracted enzyme (remember sodium chloride and di-hydrogen monoxide) to the liquid and heat it up so all the fat, gloppy sour protein chunks coagulate into a mass of lumpy white fat globs. Then they strain this mess and, get this, allow it to just sit there for anywhere from a few weeks to a few years!! Sometimes they even add MOLD on purpose to this stuff. People eat mold and might not even know it! This stuff is RIDDLED with bacteria that just feasts on it. GROSS! People eat this--they sprinkle it on their pasta, put it on pizzas! Both the FDA and the USDA say it is "safe." I'm not buying it!
 
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