What Is Meat Glue (Transglutaminase)? And Is It Gluten-Free?

Yes, you read that correctly. Glue for meat.  Glue. For. Meat.

I’ve had one main concern about meat being gluten-free after I heard that it was possible that some meat you might purchase in the grocery store could have been put together with transglutaminase – or as many refer to it – meat glue.

What is Transglutaminase?

Transglutaminase links together protein molecules, so that scraps and pieces of beef, chicken, pork or fish can be glued together so to speak and transformed into what appears to be one, seamless piece of meat. A piece of meat even experts are often unable to differentiate from the real thing.  (And if they can’t tell how the heck are we going to be able to??? You know they’re not going to tell us it’s in there.)


meat glue in our foods to fully understand what exactly meat glue is and some of the ramifications of it it being used in our foods. And after watching that if you still have the stomach for it watch one more – the “Meat Glue Mania Lecture” video presented by Michael P. Brenner, Glover Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics, Harvard College Professor, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Oddly one of the sponsors for this program was Whole Foods. True. I can’t believe they’re actually working on ways to incorporate any more of this into our foods. And another oddity, transglutaminase, is on the GRAS – Generally Recognized as Safe list.

Is There Gluten in Transglutaminase?

According to the producers of transglutaminase – Ajinomoto (who’s slogan – and the strangeness continues – is “Eat Well, Live Well.”) website it is acceptable for those with celiac disease to eat foods containing transglutaminase because they state that no gliadin peptides are produced.


For those of you who like to live on the edge and play with your food you can even purchase

transglutaminase on Amazon. Amazing what you can buy online these days!

The Trials of Transglutaminase -The Mistunderstood Magic of Meat-Glue is a blog post that gives a different view of this enzyme and is worth reading, too.

So what do you think? Is this something you want to be eating?

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