I started experimenting with Ajinomoto’s Activa almost 5 years ago. In preparation for that, I wrote an article, Restructuring of whole muscle meat with Microbial Transglutaminase – a holistic and collaborative approach, which I updated over the years.
I have been approached by countless people from around the world with questions and insights which I did not address in my initial article. I continued to gather bits of information, stored in mails to myself, learn from production managers I got to know in every part of the world and great articles I discovered over the years as I worked on a daily basis to do first-hand experiments at Woody’s and I tried to answer these questions for myself and for others while, always, working on improving the system.
It is time for a completely new follow up article where I address these issues systematically. This article is featured here as Part 2 of this booklet. I look at heat treatment, colour development, moisture loss, protein denaturing, phosphates, salt, deboning, meat quality, pressure, freezing, chilling and gelation in relation to the use of TG. I continued to look at what an optimal TG blend will look like and the aspects that our production systems must incorporate. I also examine possible future developments in thermal processing and a few alternative ways to set up a production line where TG is incorporated into a grid system for the restructuring of large meat muscles, mainly for the production of bacon.
The number one question I was asked over the years is if TG affects meat colour. Some researchers reported slight colour changes on fresh meat, but as far as processed meats are concerned, it is an irrelevant question since there are much more important factors affecting colour than the small impact that TG may or may not have. Lets very briefly look at heating, colour development, and moisture loss to illustrate my point.
We begin with a review of the curing process and the effect of heat and smoke on colour development and moisture loss before we turn our full attention to a discussion of other factors affecting TG.
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