Transglutaminase in meat and fish processing (TG)

Transglutaminase (TG) is an enzyme catalyzing the formation of covalent bonds between the amino groups of similar or different proteins. It helps for the polymerization and their cross-linking. The higher the content of proteins is, the greater the effect of TG is. The bonds formed by TG exhibit visco resistance to proteolytic reduction, which improves the properties of the proteins in food. In addition to that, the cross-linking process of the molecules of the proteins leads to increase of the water binding in the end product, and thus to a higher yield. As a result of the polymerization and the cross-linking of the protein, better consistency of the product is accomplished in the short run, and the ready product is made significantly faster.

TG is a white to light grey powder without peculiar smell. It is used in the food industry - meat, fish or seafood, bread and milk processing.

In meat and fish industry TG is used in the production of sausages and gluing the small pieces of meat and fish.
An acceleration of the production is obtained and thus the prices if it are going down, as well as, producing of new products.
TG does not affect the taste and the taste of the products.

Gluing the pieces of meat

Small muscle pieces and scraps of the meat for producing hams, steaks etc. are utilized.
New products are obtained, for instance, two more types of meat or fish, which are glued.
TG is used in two ways.

  1. The preparation is sprinkled dry on the pieces of the meat before its pressing. Then it should be kept for 6 hours in a fridge for the final gluing.
  2. TG is dissolved in preliminarily warmed water in ratio 1:4 and then the individual pieces of meat are wetted with a brush. Finally, the raw material is transferred into shapes or perforated covers. Compressing is recommended for full gluing. It should stay in the fridge for 6 hours for full completing of the enzymatic reaction.

Freezing and cooking does not affect the gluing process.
Details are given in the leaflets of the two products, for dry and wet usage.

Production of sausages

Production of raw dried sausages:

TG is added at the beginning of the circulation of the process on lean meat on together with the starter. Salt is added at the end of the process. If TG and the salt are added together the released water reduces the sticking.
The filling mass should be filled without staying in order not to disrupt the cross-linked protein structure. When it comes to pressed sausages, the first pressing should be done earlier in order not to thicken the product more than it is necessary. The first two pressings should be done not after the 12th day otherwise the formed structure falls into pieces and the product becomes soft.
The readiness of the product occurs earlier, this requires correction of the time of all the stages.
If fast ripening sausages without drying are produced, the product is ready for a week. An artificial drying-oven is not necessary, it is required a room with controlled temperature between 4 and 28 C.

Other meat products:

Basically TG can be added to all types of sausages –boiled/smoked sausages, hams, raw sausages etc.
TG is added to the blender with all substances.
TG is added in solutions for injection.

Vegetarian sausages:

These products can be produced with the appropriate equipment by any meat-processing enterprise.

Vegetable proteins are used.
In that case, TG has also a significant positive effect.


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