What is TG?

What is transglutaminase (TG)?

Transglutaminase (TG) is an enzyme which is widely distributed in nature, and is composed of simple amino acid chains, and has been studied by many researchers for food use around the world. ACTIVA® TG is produced through fermentation process which is similar to making beer, wine and cheese, using conventional microorganisms.

What is an enzyme?

Enzymes are proteins - the primary constituents of living things. Their role is to ensure that biochemical reactions within our cells are run. Without enzymes, those reactions simply wouldn?t occur or would run too slowly to sustain life. Enzymes are responsible for building up and breaking down all biological material. They occur naturally in all living organisms, including human beings. Enzymes in food have been used for centuries such as beer, cheese, and wine.

What is a food enzyme?

A food enzyme is a product obtained from a natural source (plants, animals or micro-organisms). A food enzyme contains one or more enzymes capable of catalyzing a specific biochemical reaction, and is added to food for a technological purpose at any stage of the food production process. Food enzymes have been used for centuries in foods such as beer, cheese and wine.

What TG can do for food processing?

TG in ACTIVA® preparation is able to improve the physical properties of various foods containing proteins. The use of the product offers various benefits to food companies and final consumers. In bakery and milk products, ACTIVA® preparation improves texture. In process meat products, such as emulsified sausage and cooked ham, it improves texture and increases connectivity, thus decreasing loss during manufacturing process. In meat and fish, ACTIVA® preparation enables combining quality parts of meat/fish, decreasing loss and waste, and consequently reducing pricing of the final products. This is an important contribution to a responsible and sustainable food chain. This also helps to reduce the negative environmental effects of farming by maximizing the use of the food that is produced. ACTIVA® preparation also replaces binding agents such as salt, allowing consumers to benefit from a lower salt intake.

How TG works?

TG catalyzes the cross-link of side chains of two amino acids (glutamine and lysine) in liquefied proteins, and thus yielding ε- (γ-glutamyl)-lysine bond. This bond is stable against heat treatment or physical stress. Typically TG works within the protein of food materials, and contributes to improving texture properties. In case TG is used to combine quality meat/fish parts, TG works to the proteins which are added to the food applications. TG itself does not combine meat/fish parts. This is basically possible with TG and liquefied proteins. There is no technological function or effect of enzyme in the final product.

Is TG found in food naturally?

Yes, TG exists in living organisms, including beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish and vegetables, all of which have been traditionally consumed.

Is there any similar technology to combine meat/fish parts?

Many natural and chemical products help binding quality meat/fish parts. Salt, for example, is traditionally used to strengthen binding between whole meat muscles in cured ham. Other agents which function similarly are starch, egg white, soy protein, citric acid and etc.. TG is an enzyme that naturally occurs in humans, animals and plants. In the presence of liquefied proteins TG helps to combine meat/fish parts into one piece, which prevents the waste of quality meat/fish.

What is Human tissue transglutaminase?

Tissue transglutaminase (tTG) which exists in human body is a member of the transglutaminase family. As opposed to microbial transglutaminase (mTG) contained in ACTIVA® preparations, tTG is Ca²+ dependent, has higher molecular weight and far higher deamidation activity. Also, sequence homology and three-dimensional structure are different. Thus, characteristics of tTG are different from microbial transglutaminase (mTG), although it also catalyzes the cross-link of side chains of two amino acids, glutamine and lysine, in liquefied proteins.