Activa is manufactured by the Ajinomoto company, the same lovely folks who have brought us the pervasive neurotoxins aspartame and MSG (monosodium glutamate.) There is little debate within scientific circles as to the neurotoxic effects of these food additives (please see bottom of page for sources.) The jury’s still out about transglutaminase, but if you ask me, anyone willing to sell neurotoxins to the public can not and should not be trusted.
Transglutaminase (TG) is an enzyme that helps proteins bind permanently together through the formation of covalent bonds. The TG forms cross-linked, insoluble, and irreversible protein polymers.
Natural examples of these stable polymers are found in blood clots, our skin, and hair.
What’s happening chemically: protein-bound lysine + protein-bound glutamine (free amine + carboxamide.)
How It’s MadeMost TG is made from the cultivation of bacteria using the blood plasma (clotting factors) from cows and pigs. Some TG is made from cultivating bacteria using vegetable and plant extracts. Most TGs are mixed with other ingredients including gelatin and caseinate (milk derivative.)
The issue? Manufacturers don’t have to tell you which method they’re using, what type of animal plasma was used (cow, pig), or anything else that most of us would like to know more about. As with most things, the only way you can really know what you’re consuming is if you make it yourself.
Depending on how stringent a vegetarian you are, this may or may not ring some bells for you. Vegans, avoid this stuff like the plague. In addition to vegetarians and vegans, Judaism and pork products don’t go together, so make sure you’re buying kosher cuts. There is a special “kosher” meat glue made just for you.
What It’s Used For
- Makes “steaks” out of glued together meat chunks
- Makes imitation crab meat, chicken nuggets, and fish balls
- Creates reconstituted steaks, fillets, roasts, and cutlets
- Makes uniform meat portions that cook evenly and reduce waste
- Binds meat mixtures (sausages, hot dogs) without using casings
- Improves mouth feel, water retention, and appearance of processed meats
- Makes novel meat combinations like lamb and scallops or bacon and beef
- Makes meat noodles (shrimp noodles) and other cuisine oddities
- For use in molecular gastronomy
- Thickens egg yolks
- Strengthens dough mixtures
- Thickens dairy products (yogurt, cheese)
- Increases yield in tofu production
Excerpt from Be Well Buzz