• restructured;
  • meat;
  • microbial;
  • transglutaminase;
  • caseinate


To produce restructured meat, microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) was evaluated for its ability to introduce covalent crosslinks between protein molecules. Pork muscle cubes were mixed with MTGase and held at 5°C for 2 hr for the enzyme reaction. Restructured products were analyzed for binding strength without cooking. MTGase treatment resulted in effective binding of meat pieces provided there was addition of salt (NaCl). To ensure proper binding without NaCl, some food proteins with MTGase were also investigated. Meat cubes in combination with MTGase and sodium caseinate showed acceptable bind, and sodium caseinate appeared to be a superior substrate for the crosslinking to meat proteins than soy protein, whey protein, or gelatin. These results suggest a useful method for producing restructured meat which can be distributed in the raw, chilled state.