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Legal

Meat Glue Legal States 2024

Meat Glue Legal States 2024

What is Meat Glue

Meat glue is a food additive made using the enzyme transglutaminase (TG), which helps bind proteins together. When used in foods, meat glue is generally used as a binder, capable of forming small pieces of meat into one larger piece or helping ground meat hold a specific shape (such as dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets). Meat glue can also be used to improve the texture of some meat and non-meat foods, specifically sausages, cheeses, tofu, imitation crab, and the aforementioned chicken nuggets. Transglutaminase (TG) found in the food industry is often sourced from the blood plasma of pigs or cows, but it may also be obtained via bacterial cultures. to by its brand name, Activa. Activa is

Meat Glue Legal States

Meat glue is legal in all fifty U.S. states. It has been approved for use by both the USDA and FDA. The USDA requires that all meat, poultry, and egg products that use meat glue indicate it on their label. This can be done without specifically naming the enzyme. A label may include an ingredient listed as "enzyme", "TG enzyme", or "TGP enzyme" (or on occasion, "Activa RM", which is a popular brand-name form of transglutaminase). The packaging must also include a declaration that the meat is "formed" or "reformed" meat.

Non-meat products that use meat glue have different labeling requirements. This may require the consumer to contact the product’s manufacturer to find out if transglutaminase was used.

Is Meat Glue Safe?

While less than 0.02 percent of the meat consumed each year contains the enzyme, there are still concerns from some consumers. The biggest concern is the risk of contamination by E. Coli or other bacteria. The small pieces of meat that transglutaminase is used to bind together often have a massive surface area compared to other forms of meat and have often spent more time exposed to the air during the processing phase than simpler cuts of meat (such as steaks). Both of these conditions significantly increases the possibility of bacterial contamination (and possible sickness and/or food poisoning to the end consumer). The various pieces of meat may also come from multiple sources, which makes it difficult to trace the source of an outbreak if one occurs.

The concern about food poisoning continues when the food is prepared as well. It is thought that meat glue can render a product more difficult to properly cook to the correct temperatures. This too can contribute to foodborne illness in those who consume the product.

There is also concern that people with gluten sensitivity, Celiac disease, or other autoimmune disorders should avoid transglutaminase. The enzyme may increase the allergic load on the body, which can cause serious problems for those with existing conditions that affect the immune system.

Is Meat Glue Legal?

Transglutaminase meat glue is legal in all 50 states of the United States. Transglutaminase-based meat glue is also fully legal in the European Union, although significant confusion exists regarding the topic. The uncertainty appears to stem from a 2010 ruling in which the EU banned meat glues derived from a similar-but-different substance known as thrombin. However, transglutaminase remains both fully legal and widely used.

Meat Glue Legal States 2024

  • The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has permitted the use of the transglutaminase (TG) enzyme under certain circumstances.
  • Under FSIS regulations, meat manufacturers must reveal the use of transglutaminase (TG) in a given product adding the TG enzyme to the list of ingredients on the product’s label (often listed as “TG enzyme,” “enzyme” or “TGP enzyme”, or possibly by the trade name Activa) and must label the product as “formed” or “reformed” meat.
  • Transglutinase may be derived from porcine or bovine blood, but is also produced by various bacteria, which can be cultured in a factory to produce non-animal-derived "meat glue".

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