Bird Nest is produced by Swiftlets (Collocalia species). They use a glutinous secretion, also known as “nest cement” to bind together materials for nest building, or construct a whole nest with it. The nest cement is secreted from a pair of sublingual glands located beneath the tongue of the swiftlet.
A Swiftlet Bird Nest is built primarily for laying eggs and housing the baby Swiftlets. After the eggs have been laid and hatched, the baby swiftlets will remain in the nest until it is able to fly away independently. The Bird Nest becomes abandoned and will never be re-used. If not harvested, scavengers such as ants, lizards and cockroaches will consume the Bird Nest.
Bird Nest contains minerals like copper, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium and sodium. When these minerals are oxidized, they will result in a colour change to the Bird Nest. It is inadvisable to consume heavily-coloured Bird Nest.
Pure Bird Nest has a translucent look and free from impurities under examination of the naked eye. All Bird Nest varies in shape and sizes so a uniformly shaped Bird Nest is likely to have been unnaturally altered during the cleaning process. Pure Bird Nest originally smells similar to the scent of egg white. Pure bird nest should be dried to avoid natural accumulation of sodium nitrite. (The sodium in bird nest, nitrogen in air and water will react to form nitrite). Pure Bird Nest is quite fragile and can be broken easily.
Bird’s nest is an expensive and nutritious product. Thus, it is important to distinguish a genuine piece of bird’s nest. In the market, there are many unethical businessmen who would increase the weight of bird’s nest by adding additives like white fungus, jelly and animal skin.
Appearance: Good and genuine nests consist of two main types of filaments:
The outer layer that has longer and bigger filaments whereas the inner part has finer, shorter filaments.
After Cooking: When double boiled for 1-2 hours the bird’s nest inner filaments become water-soluble.
The outer filaments contain mainly minerals; it is less soluble but gives bird’s nest its signature fibrous taste and appearance.
Odour: During double boiling a fine scent of near albumin smell will occur.
Much like the smell of faint cooked egg white.
Bird Nest can be stored in any container that is dry and preferably airtight.
Bird Nest can be kept at room temperature or even in the refrigerator.
Blissful Bird Nest is the driest Bird Nest on the market and our Bird Nest
can be kept at room temperature for ten years or more.
Bird Nest can be consumed daily. An average person can consume anything between 3g to 5g of dry Bird Nest. Any excess consumption will be discharged by the body.
Bird Nest is suitable for all age groups but some small minority of people who are allergic to protein may find it unsuitable. A small sip of Bird Nest soup will make their lips swollen.
It is best to drink Bird Nest soup before sleep as the rich antioxidants will help the body to eradicte free radicals as the body heals during our sleep.
From the chemical analysis report of pure bird nest, we can identify soluble amino acids that will help to repair body cells and generate new cells. The antioxidant helps to eradicate free radicals in the body. Bird Nest also contains EGF(epidermal growth factor) which produces an anti aging effect, making regular Bird Nest consumers young and radiant looking. Many clinical trials of using Bird Nest as an anti-cancer food is now currently being conducted.
About half the bird’s nest comprises of protein. Protein is a macronutrient that the human body needs in relatively large amounts. First, it provides the essential amino acids that our own tissues can’t produce. Secondly, protein provides nitrogen to produce non-essential amino acids and other nitrogen-containing compounds.
Bird’s nest contains amino acids such as arginine cystein, histidine tryptophan, etc. Amino acids can be best described as the construction blocks from which protein is made.
Various types of minerals like zinc, copper, iron, sodium, phosphorous have also been found in analyses of bird’s nests. These minerals are essential as our need for oxygen to sustain all mental and physical processes and for our total well-being. They are important in maintaining all physiological processes as they made up the constituents of teeth, bones, tissues, blood, muscle, and nerve cells.
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Health problems such as heart disease, muscular degeneration, diabetes, cancer, etc. are all contributed by oxidative damage. Antioxidants may also boast our immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.
Bird Nest table of contents
|Ash||0.5% – 0.7%|
|Fibre||0.5% – 0.7%|
|Protein||56.7% – 63.5%|
|Fats||0.5 – 1%|
|Moisture||+ – 10%|
|Carbohydrate||20.1 – 25.7%|
In Malaysia, cave bird’s nests are mainly harvested from natural caves in the states of Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo Island. The famous caves are located at Niah, Kakus, Baram and Tinjar.
The harvesters often face considerable danger when harvesting these bird nests. Since cave bird nests are formed by free, naturally-living swiftlets, some people consider them to be more valuable than birds nests found in houses. Thus, cave bird nests often fetch a higher price as compared to house bird nest.
However, unknown to many consumers in the market, cave bird nests generally contain more foreign materials and feathers than house nests. Besides, cave bird nest are exposed to the risk of heavy metals contamination from external environmental factors. So, consume cave bird’s nest at your own risk!
It is believed that the red-coloured “blood bird nest” is specially prized because they are formed by swiftlets that vomit their blood to build the nest.
There is also another belief that the “blood bird nest” was formed by a different species of swiftlet which consumes different kinds of water and food.
Contrary to these beliefs, swiftlets do not vomit blood; neither do they consume different kinds of water and food. In general, Bird’s nests act like sponges. They absorb the chemical elements from the environment such as iron from the cave walls, dirty waters and poisons. Hence, “blood bird nest” may be harmful rather than beneficial to human beings.
Some dishonest bird nest traders even dyed their bird’s nests red in order to fetch a higher price. So, play it safe – choose only pure bird’s nest!