Sunday, May 15, 2011

Public Increasingly Aware of Meat-Glue in Food - Health Industry Use Certain to be Debated?

As public awareness increases of the use of meat glue (animal derived thrombin) within the food industry, it seems inevitable that the use of similar products in surgery will become a discussion point. Particularly when perfectly viable alternatives are available, it will certainly impact the healthcare sector. Below is an excerpt of a commentary on this practice with further links below. We in the industry are fully aware of the risks associated with bovine thrombin... and this

Not to mention the public belief in regulatory protection

"There was...crap in that stuff. This stuff was manky, it was filthy, it was dirty ... but they still stuck it in the arms of children"


Meat what are you getting now?
The commercial meat packing industry and restaurants around the U.S. have found a new way to increase profits by using meat scraps to make filet mignons as well as hot dogs, sausages and stew meat.  Powdered meat glue binds scraps of beef, lamb, chicken or fish, that would normally be thrown out, into solid pieces of meat.  According to its manufacturer, meat glue can be used to produce new kinds of mixed meats (for example combining beef and fish seamlessly).
Meat glue permits restaurants and butchers to sell their meat scraps as premium meat.  Once you cook the glued meat, even a professional butcher or chef can’t tell the difference.
This Franken-food is sold as imitation crabmeat, ham, hot dogs, sausage, fish balls, for making milk, making noodles firmer and making yogurt (water loss) creamier.  It is also used for more expensive products such as filet mignons and veal steaks and products labeled as beef steak, chopped meat, shaped meat, frozen meat, pork or chicken as well as minute steak, formed meat, wafer sliced meat, frozen meat, beef added products, chopped meat, molded meat, cubed or frozen beef, chicken and pork as well as some Hydrolyzed plant protein.
So how do they glue meat together and make it look just like filet mignons?  Super glue?  No!  A new miracle glue from 3M?  No!  The industry uses a pseudo-coagulant called Thrombin or Fibrimex, which were initially banned in Europe but now sold in the EU, Australia, Canada and the U.S.
Thrombin is sold under the brand names Activa RM and Fibrimex.  The products derive from pig or bovine blood.  The active ingredient is called transglutaminase.  When sold in a store, products containing transglutaminase are labeled as “composite meat product”.  However there are no labeling or disclosure requirements placed on restaurants.
But meat glue sold as Thrombin and transglutaminase have a different enzyme makeup.  Transglutaminase is the enzyme that cross-links proteins in “meat glues.”  Thrombin is a different protein, a protease that causes increased transglutaminase activity.  Thrombin can be hazardous to use because if it enters a cut it can cause extensive blood clotting.
Thrombin contains Maltodextrin and sodium caseinate which contain (without disclosure) Ajinomoto’s MSG.  Blood carries bacterias, toxins and viruses causing infections and autoimmune responses in animals as they do in humans.
Factory farms also use growth hormones (steroids) that require daily doses of antibiotics in an effort to control or minimize illnesses.  Animal feed used in CAFOs contains pesticide residues that also contribute to illness.  The use of antibiotics signals an admission that factory farmed animals are sick or become sick.  Why would you give daily doses of antibiotics to an animal or human being unless they were sick?
The infectious agent that leads to mad cow disease can also be passed through animal blood meal.  As a result of mad cow’s disease cases in 2004, the Bush administration’s FDA said it “would ban animal blood in cattle feed, while dietary supplements and cosmetics would be kept free of materials from cattle too sick or hurt to walk.”  Consumer groups said the protections did not go far enough.  Why does the food industry and the USDA think animal blood meal is now safe for human consumption?  What has changed since 2004? 

Full excerpt HERE.
Fibrimex website HERE and Ajinomoto HERE

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