The benefits of edible bird’s nest are becoming widely documented. Edible bird’s nest is now a sought after commodity with a high value. Where there is profit to be made there is usually someone trying to profit unethically, and the edible bird’s nest market is no exception. Unethical businessmen have jumped on the bandwagon pursuing a fast buck by selling fake and chemically bleached edible bird’s nest.
The majority of consumers are unaware of how to differentiate between real bird’s nest and chemically bleached bird’s nest. The objective of this article is to provide the consumer with an essential verification methodology. This will not only protect the consumer, but help to preserve the market and push out the unethical tradesmen.
Before performing visual and physical checks on certain aspects of the bird’s nest, you need to make sure that you purchase your bird’s nest from a reputable retailer. Do not buy pre-packed edible bird’s nest as this will hinder your ability to perform the verification procedures discussed below.
Verification Step 1:
Observe the appearance of the bird’s nest closely. It should not be completely white and reflective in any way. If the bird’s nest is overly white in appearance and reflective, then there is a high probability that the edible bird’s nest has been bleached with chemicals. Edible bird’s nest that has not been cleaned with bleaching agent will not be completely white in appearance, neither will it be reflective.
Verification Step 2:
Natural bird’s nest always varies in size and weight due to its natural formation. There should be no standardisation of edible bird’s nest. The size and weight should not be uniform. Any standardisation of the product is a positive indicator of man made bird’s nest.
Verification Step 3:
Upon inspection of the bird’s nest, be sure to thoroughly smell the nest to see if you can detect the light scent of an egg. If you cannot smell the scent of an egg then the edible bird’s nest may fall into one of the following categories.
a) No Smell:
If the bird’s nest has no smell to it, then it is less likely to have been bleached with chemicals, although, it is still possible that a small amount of bleaching agent may have been used. The traditional cleaning process destroys the surface nutrients of the bird’s nest removing much of the natural scent. It is only after boiling the nest that the egg scent becomes pungent again. This is problematic in terms of verification. However, if the edible bird’s nest has no scent or a light scent of egg, then there is a good chance that the bird’s nest has not been chemically tampered with. To be completely certain of the authenticity of the edible bird’s nest, it is essential to know which company originally manufactured the product.
b) Unpleasant Smell:
An unpleasant smell of any kind presents an extremely high possibility of the bird’s nest having been bleached with chemicals or other impure ingredients. If you detect the smell of wood, this can be attributed to the wooden planks upon which the swiftlet built its nest.
c) Mouldy Smell.
The smell of mould is directly associated with a high moisture level inside the bird’s nest. If you do detect a mouldy smell then you should avoid purchase immediately. Mould contains bacteria which could be detrimental to your health and cause subsequent illness.
If the bird’s nest you are about to purchase does not pass the authenticity verification tests than walk away without further discussion with the retailer. Any attempt to point out the abnormalities of the bird’s nest will only result in a defensive argument by the retailer. Many retailers are unaware of the facts regarding natural bird’s nest and may themselves have been duped into buying the stock.
The verification guide in this article forms an essential part of your bird’s nest purchase. This advice will stop you from falling into the trap of a counterfeit purchase. You will save yourself money and time, but most important of all you will protect yourself from potential ill health caused by chemicals or bacteria.