Reconstructed Chicken Breast Using Activa RM - (aka, Transglutaminase, Meat Glue)

In this video I demonstrate how to bind together two boneless, skinless chicken breasts using the transglutaminase enzyme. The resulting piece of meat is cohesive, easy to portion and will cook more evenly then a traditional chicken breast.

Transglutaminase, also commonly referred to as "meat glue," is a proprietary enzyme manufactured by Ajinomoto, an Japanese food additive company. The enzyme is packaged under the trade name "Activa" and comes in a few different forms, the most notable being Activa RM (which is used in this video) and Activa GS, which will be demonstrated in an upcoming video.

The major difference between RS and GS is the former is formulated for use in dry applications but deteriorates quickly at room temperature whereas the latter is more stable at room temperature but doesn't readily dissolve when it comes into contact with meat, so it is usually applied as a slurry.

Tranglutaminase is certainly an interesting s that deserves its own full length post and food science video, which is currently in the works. In the meantime, please check out the "External Links" section below for further information.

Related Content

External Resources

HERE IS A VIDEO of Chef Wylie Dufrense, who's on the leading edge of using transglutaminase in a fine dining environment, giving a lecture at Harvard on the subject:

 

For more posts just like this, check out our ongoing Kitchen Prep Video Series. You can also view our complete How To Cook Video Index.

 

4 comments

Achintya

Very informative, Thank you :) 

Jacob Burton's picture
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Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the video.

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(in response to your hello on Nina's cinnamon roll post) I'm still alive and kicking  :)  I may not say a whole lot but I'm on hear everyday reading and seeing what everyone hast to say!  I've just been trying to figure out a new molecular gastromy menu for my girlfriends birthday.    

 

Chef I had 2 questions:  

 

I'm always worried about cross contamination in my kitchen.  After you touched the chicken you put the activa away touching the shaker (which you prob washed no big deal) but you touched the activa back and the plastic wrap.  Should you be concerned about that or am I being over paranoid.  On TV I see some chefs just wipe their hands on a hand towel or an apron.  I always wash my hands but I feel it slows me down, am I taking too many precautions?

 

You mentioned that you have to hold the mediations together a little while you sear them to help keep their shape.  I've scene Chef Novelli's wraps a filet of beef in plastic wrap before he sears it to help keep it's shape.  Will the high heat be a worry since you may break the plastic down or leaching some plastic chemicals into your product and that would steer you away from a technique like this?

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I wipe everything down with sanitizer, but organic, free range chicken isn't the same biological weapon that mass produced chicken is.

 

I wouldn't recommend wrapping something in plastic wrap before searing. The plastic wrap in my experience will melt.

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