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Transglutaminase enzyme can bond the protein molecules. Because of its excellent cross-linking characteristics, it is hailed as "the 21st Century Super binder", showing broad prospects in the fields of food, medicine, textiles, cosmetics., etc.
Transglutaminase enzyme （hereinafter called TG) is widely found in natural organisms. Since the first discovery of TG in guinea pig liver by Clarke et al. in 1957, TG has been found in animals such as fish and birds, as well as in microorganisms and plant organisms. TG is mainly also derived from Streptomyces spp. and Bacillus spp. In 1989, Ando et al. isolated the first microbial source of TG from Streptomyces maurophyticus.
TG can be obtained in three ways: 1) directly from animal tissues and body fluids, such as GTG, FTG, coagulation factor XIII, etc.; 2) screening microorganisms which produce TG, optimizing fermentation conditions, and producing TG by microbial fermentation; 3) using genetic engineering methods to develop genetically engineered bacteria which produce TG, and fermenting genetically engineered bacteria to produce TG.
Currently, commercial transglutaminase enzyme is mainly obtained through the first route, but it is expensive due to its complicated isolation and purification process and scarce source. In recent years, research has turned to studying microbial fermentation to produce TG that applicated in the food industry. The functional properties of food treated with microbial transglutaminase enzyme are significantly improved.
TG is widely used, especially in food products, which has attracted the most attention. For example, the tofu made with it has the characteristics of fine and tender texture, pure taste, fresh and delicious, no protein loss, richness in nutrition and high yield, and it is also more resistant to storage and preservative than ordinary tofu. It is also used for the bonding of beef, pork, chicken and other meat products (meatballs, ham, etc.), which not only bonds firmly, but also gives the meat a marble-like natural texture, improving its taste, flavor, organization and nutrition, and increasing the added value of the product.
TG products are also widely used in various noodles such as instant noodles, hanging noodles, cold noodles, California beef noodles, vermicelli, dumpling skin and other flour and starch products. It can also be added to flour as flour improver, which can improve the operation performance and mechanical processing performance of dough, increase the tenderness, elasticity and strength of dough, make the surface of noodles shiny, chewy, turgid, smooth and delicate, resistant to cooking, firm and elastic, with clear soup, improve the internal structure and taste, and greatly improve the grade of cooked wheaten food and other effects.
In addition, TG can partially or completely replace the addition of chemical improvers (gluten enhancer, etc.) .
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