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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Meat Glue Ingredient Triggers Symptoms in Celiacs and Could Promote Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      An enzyme used to glue together meat, fish and other foods is a potential danger for celiacs, says a new study.

    Caption: Image: CC--36th Chamber

    Celiac.com 01/10/2019 - Microbial transglutaminase is an enzyme that is commonly used by food manufacturers to improve product quality and increase shelf life. Transglutaminase is commonly used in the meat industry to add value to meat by allowing smaller pieces of meat, fish, or meat product to be glued together. The result is a large chunk of virtually intact piece of meat or fish that looks like a single chunk. Transglutaminase is rarely labeled and usually invisible to consumers. 

    According to the food website, Delishably, “"Meat glue" is industry standard, and chances are if you eat meat, or even tofu, you're consuming this binding agent on a monthly, if not weekly, basis.”

    Because it is functionally similar to the tTg, microbial transglutaminase acts like glue, binding gliadin peptides together to form neo-complexes that trigger an immune response, and may also trigger a pathogenic response in people with celiac disease. 

    Even when it lacks sequence identity, microbial transglutaminase functionally mimics endogenous tissue transglutaminase, which researchers understand to be an autoantigen of celiac disease and a key actor in genesis and progression of celiac disease. 

    A team of researchers recently set out to review the effects of microbial transglutaminase in children with celiac disease. Researchers Matthias Torsten and Lerner Aaron are affiliated with AESKU, KIPP Institute, Wendelsheim, Germany, and the Rappaport School of Medicine at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel.

    In their review, they report on the enzyme’s characteristics, exogenous intestinal sources, its ability to cross-link to gluten or gliadin, and to thus turn seemingly harmless proteins into disease triggering ones. 

    Their report relays several observations about the immunogenicity of microbial transglutaminase cross-linked complexes in celiac patients, as well as summarizing their pathogenicity, and highlighting possible risks for the gluten dependent conditions. Their stated hope is to promote additional research into the mechanics and disease-triggering channels underlying the gliadin cross linked enzyme and its promotion of celiac disease.

    The team anticipates that corroboration of their observations could reveal a new environmental trigger for the initiation of celiac disease. They are calling for further study, particularly of the physical mechanics of the process.

    The team’s research could lead to new understandings of the genesis of celiac disease in certain patients. Such a development would be very helpful to celiac disease research and understanding, in general, and could lead to new diagnosis and treatment options in the future.


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    This is all part of the conspiracy to poison people by secretly putting things in literally everything that we consume. No matter what you buy and where you buy it, you have no way of knowing what is in it. You can buy an apple, and it could be sprayed with who knows what. You literally have to own your own farm and grow everything yourself to truly be safe. This is why our society is so overcome with disease. The government is fully culpable in this. They are the only ones who can at least try to prevent hidden ingredients, yet they do nothing about it.

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    Guest Dana Clearwood


    On 1/15/2019 at 6:37 AM, tonsoffunt said:

    My husband has celiac and it’s hard to find actually labeled thing but Walmart has so many of there brand  are gluten free sour cream cheese tomato sauce diced tomatoes Jenni-o lean turkey patties are labeled also a lot of there seasoning are gluten-free labeled now skippy peanut butter is labeled Quaker Oats oatmeal have gluten-free one one protein bars are also gluten-free and silk almond milk gluten-free

    A meat may label itself Gluten Free, and still have meat glue. Meat glue, itself, is not a gluten. I’ve also experienced the words “No Gluten Ingredients Used” to find it was manufactured on machines using wheat. The worst are when it says gluten free and my symptoms beg to differ. If it does not have the official gluten-free symbol sensitive Celiacs need, that batch may be gluten exposed. FDA have had “allowable amounts” of even rats-what’s a little gluten. Meat glue may be Why I have Celiac. Ever seen a square fish? Fast food chain has a Fish sandwich that is square, what about the size of chicken strips, nuggets? What’s holding Jennylean’s meat together if not meat glue? 

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    On 1/14/2019 at 3:37 PM, Guest Jeannie said:

    Please tell me what meat would be safe? Also where do we get it? Seems like everyday something new comes out about this horrible disease that prevents even more of a normal life. We are so limited with what we can eat and yet so many think this is a fad that I am quiet about having Celiacs and so frustrated when I shop. If I ever win the lottery I will have a chef that knows everything about Celiacs and will do all my shopping/cooking for me! ;) At least I can still daydream!

    Talk to your butcher or fishmonger. They'll be able to guide you. 

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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