Meat Glue Mania | Lecture 10 (2010) | Summary and Q&A

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December 14, 2010
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Harvard University
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Meat Glue Mania | Lecture 10 (2010)

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Summary

This video is part of a series called "Science and Cooking Public Lecture Series" and features Wiley Dufresne, a chef from New York City, discussing the use of transglutaminase, also known as meat glue, in cooking. Dufresne explains how meat glue works and demonstrates its various applications, including making shrimp noodles, binding proteins together, and using it with vegetables and grains. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the science behind cooking and how it can enhance culinary techniques.

Questions & Answers

Q: Who are the sponsors of the science and cooking public lecture series?

The sponsors include Jose Andres, the Think Food Group, the Alesia Foundation, Whole Foods, Harvard University, and the Sade Business School.

Q: What is the purpose of the laboratory component in the cooking class?

The laboratory component allows students to experiment with different cooking techniques and create unique dishes. It provides a hands-on learning experience and showcases the creations made by the students.

Q: How did Wiley Dufresne and his team learn to make shrimp noodles?

Wiley Dufresne and his team learned how to make shrimp noodles during a field trip to WD 50, a restaurant in New York City. They were taught by the chefs there, and the students were able to make the noodles themselves in the laboratory.

Q: What is the book "The Physiology of Taste" by Saverin about?

"The Physiology of Taste" is a book that explores the science behind taste and the physiology of eating. It was written by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and published in 1826. The book delves into topics such as the role of taste in human life and the relationship between taste and digestion.

Q: How do flavor compounds affect the taste of food?

Flavor compounds are chemicals that give food its taste. The amount of flavor compound present in food affects its taste, and different compounds are produced at different rates during cooking. Therefore, understanding how to generate the right amount of flavor compounds at the right time is crucial to creating dishes with the desired taste.

Q: What is the purpose of transglutaminase in cooking?

Transglutaminase, also known as meat glue, is an enzyme that binds proteins together. It can be used to bind proteins that already exist in a product, creating a strong covalent bond between the amino acids glutamine and lysine. This allows for the restructuring of proteins and the creation of unique food textures and presentations.

Q: How does the rate of transglutaminase binding depend on temperature?

The rate of transglutaminase bonding is not dependent on a critical temperature but increases gradually with temperature. There is a threshold temperature, around 50 to 55 degrees Celsius, at which the rate of bonding becomes more effective. However, some bonding can occur at lower temperatures as well.

Q: What applications of meat glue did Wiley Dufresne demonstrate?

Wiley Dufresne demonstrated the use of meat glue in making shrimp noodles, binding proteins together in beef dishes, creating sheets of soybean puree, and binding cooked barley. He also mentioned using meat glue with other ingredients such as quinoa.

Q: How does meat glue work with gelatin?

Meat glue and gelatin have a strong affinity for each other. By adding gelatin to ingredients that do not contain their own protein source, such as soybeans or grains, and then using meat glue, it allows for binding and restructuring these ingredients in unique ways.

Q: What are some practical applications of meat glue in cooking?

Some practical applications of meat glue include binding proteins together to create larger cuts of meat, making tubes or rolls of meat, and creating unique textures and presentations with various ingredients. Meat glue can also be used with vegetables, grains, and seafood to bind them together or create new forms.

Takeaways

The use of transglutaminase, also known as meat glue, in cooking allows for unique culinary techniques and presentations. Understanding the science behind cooking and how ingredients react to each other can enhance the culinary experience. Transglutaminase can be used to bind proteins together, create new forms and textures, and experiment with various ingredients. It opens up possibilities for creativity and pushes the boundaries of traditional cooking methods.

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