UPDATED: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 6:39pm
WACO -- It's popping up in restaurants and in grocery stores.
Transglutaminase, better known to chefs as TG or meat glue.
"A natural occurring enzyme that actually bonds proteins together and so when you spread it or sprinkle it onto a meat item or a protein item on both sides, after it chills, it glues it together," said Mark Schneider, TSTC Culinary Arts Department Chair.
"Often times it's used by upscale chefs and people in the restaurant industry," said Amanda Hill, spokesperson for the McLennan County Texas Farm Bureau.
Meat glue is a white powder that costs around $30 a pound.
Chefs tell us the substance can spark culinary creativity.
"It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for them. It really spurs their creativity and it's just a tool they're able to use in the kitchen," said Hill.
But is it safe?
"The FDA has deemed it safe to use. Some chefs are using it." said Schneider.
He said you may notice a difference in texture but the taste will be the same.
All packaged meat products that use meat glue must be labeled "shaped" or "formed".
But in a restaurant there's no way to tell unless you ask.
To find more information about TG, visit: www.tabletop.texasfarmbureau.org