The Department of Agriculture has given AJINOMOTO CO., INC.'s U.S. subsidiary the go-ahead to market an enzyme, transglutaminase, that has the unique ability to make soft food textures firmer by cross-linking proteins. Given that property, Activa TG can increase firmness, elasticity and moisture retention in meat products without the use of salt or binders. USDA approved Activa TG, which is produced through fermentation, for use in meat and poultry products. Other possible applications are surimi, such dairy products as yogurt and cheese, and noodle products. Ajinomoto expects Activa TG to develop into a $70 million annual business in the United States after five or six years. It has been used in food products in Japan since 1993, producing yearly sales of roughly $21.2 million.
An exchange rate of ¥141=$1.00 was used in this report.