Transglutaminase also known as Meat glue definitely sounds like something that can only be used with, well… meat. We have written about this topic before. But, until recently it was a difficult thing to find a protein that worked with transglutaminase. Most vegetables contain one of the proteins needed for the transglutaminase to work, but not the other. What if there was a way to use transglutaminase with one vegetable protein to make firmer, and more stable plant based foods?
“Is there one vegetable protein that works with Meat glue?”
I Choose You, Meat Glue.
First, let’s do a quick overview of the type of transglutaminase that should be used with plant based foods. When using transglutaminase for plant based cooking you will need to use TI. This type of transglutaminase contains no helper proteins. Transglutaminase RM contains sodium caseinate which is a protein from milk. Transglutaminase GS contains gelatin which is from fish bones. Transglutaminase TI is just the transglutaminase enzyme and maltodextrin which acts to keep the enzyme free flowing. It is a common myth that all transglutaminase comes from animal sources, in fact it comes from many different sources. All the Transglutaminase enzymes we sell come from non-animal sources. So now that that is out of the way let’s get to the cool part!
Recently we began using a great faba bean protein. It has worked wonders in all of our plant based foods. We have made plant based burgers, sausage, meatballs, and even meatloaf. Not to mention all the recipes we have coming down the line (stay tuned). But as we have been running through our testing we have wanted to find the best way to produce any plant based meats. We decided to try out a small amount of TI with the faba bean protein. We have tried this before with our soy protein and after a bit of research we found that soy lacked lysine, one of the proteins needed for transglutaminase to work. So we mixed up a solution of faba bean protein and added some transglutaminase to it. Transglutaminase TI has the highest amount of active enzymes of all the different types. But also TI tends to work with the least amount of foods due to its lack of a protein aide. After about 1 minute of being mixed with the faba bean protein solution it began to set. We had a control sample of the faba bean protein solution without the enzyme and it was still fluid. We had finally found a plant based protein that aided the TI! We decided to add this to our plant based chicken nuggets recipe and we found great success. We were able to get the texture we were looking for as chicken nuggets needed a firmer texture than we could get by just using our regular method. We are so very excited to have found this out and we can’t wait to see what other recipes it will work with. Check out our recipes below to see exactly how it works!
Ready to get Cooking?
Give our Plant-Based Golden Chickn Nuggets recipe a try! A chicken nugget is the guilty pleasure, the grab and go, the dino-shaped treat that keeps children happy. Now enjoy this grown but still delicious plant-based nugget that has all of the bouncy texture and fun with none of the mysterious animal parts.