Transglutaminase TGF (similar to Activa GS) is particularly effective to bind large pieces of meat, such as two tenderloins to prevent wasting the ends, obtain even cooking and nice looking portions. Transglutaminase TGF is also highly effective for fish/seafood items. Read this to learn more about transglutaminase applications in modernist cuisine.
Transglutaminase is an enzyme that stimulates a bonding process at the cellular level with the amino acids lysine and glutamine in proteins. Pure transglutaminase is too concentrated to use easily so the Activa products are blended with other ingredients to make it adequate for specific applications.
Transglutaminase TGF meat glue contains sodium chloride, gelatin, trisodium phosphate, maltodextrin and transglutaminase. Transglutaminase TGF meat glue doesn’t have the casein present in Transglutaminase TG2N in it.
The addition of the polyphosphates and sodium make the mixture alkaline. Since transglutaminase is inactive in an alkaline environment, the slurry can be left out all day without going bad, a great convenience compared to Transglutaminase TG2N meat glue. The minute that it’s applied to meat, the pH drops and the tranglutaminase activates.
This 1.76 oz package of Transglutaminase TGF is enough to bind 7-10 lb of food protein.
Both Transglutaminase TGF and TG2N will do the bonding job well in most kitchen applications. But Transglutaminase TGF is particularly effective to bind large pieces of meat, such as two tenderloins, fish and seafood.
Transglutaminase TGF gives you more application time to do bonding based on the ingredient in the blend and also has no allergen.
Liquid Slurry: Transglutaminase TGF meat glue is mostly used in a liquid slurry made with 4x its weight in water. Mix the slurry for 3-4 minutes until a froth is formed on the surface. The slurry may then be used after the froth settles. This slurry will stay in the liquid form for an extended period of time (about 6 to 8 hours), until it is applied onto the product to be bonded. Do your best to get all forming and shaping done within 20 – 30 minutes then let the meat sit wrapped or weighted in the refrigerator for 4-24 hours.
Typical application is 0.5% to 1% of the weight of the protein that you’re using it on. Simply paint it onto the surfaces that you’re binding or dip it in.
Keep in mind that when binding meat, the Transglutaminase enzymes have a tendency to firm and toughen the flesh so it is important to use just the minimum necessary quantity and no more, especially with delicate ingredients such as fish. The presence of salt increases the bond strength of Transglutaminase but if the bond is too strong, it will make the food taste rubbery. In such situations, reduce the amount of Transglutaminase.
The enzymatic reaction necessary to bind two proteins takes some time. Standard procedure is to prep the day before you plan to use the bound meat. Since it’s an actual chemical reaction instead of instant glue, you need to allow 4-24 hours for the meat to bind. Typically there is a hold time of 12 hours or overnight and the pieces to be bound need to be placed in a tight package or held under pressure to help keep the surfaces aligned, without air bubbles trapped in between. This allows the bond to form tightly.
To remove all air bubbles from between the pieces that you’re binding, you can vacuum pack it if local food ordinances permit, or roll it in plastic wrap in order to hold it together in the desired shape until the chemical process finishes.
Dry Addition to a mixed- or tumble-marinated product: When marinating or adding a solution to meat products, Transglutaminase TGF meat glue can be added as a dry powder. Transglutaminase Activa GS is generally added following the absorption of brine/marinade into the raw material. The powder is simply added and mixed or tumbled until it is evenly distributed over the meat product’s surfaces. Once added, the final product must be formed within 20-30 minutes. Typical usage level: 0.50-1.0% of formula weight.
As with any food product, you need to be careful about cross-contamination issues. Gluing meet puts the outside of the meat, which usually has higher content of bacteria, on the inside of the restructured piece. Be particularly careful when cooking to rare temperatures. Use fresh products, with low bacteria content and do not glue them warm. Chilled cuts will slow the bacteria growth. Treat glued meet as you would ground meat.
Shelf life unopened is several months but once it’s opened you need to store it tightly wrapped in the freezer. Only take out what you’re going to use that day. For convenience, break a batch of transglutaminase into small vacuum sealed packages and store them in the freezer.