Almost anyone in the bird nest industry can claim to be a supplier. But not all of them can claim to be genuine supplier. If you intend to buy edible bird nests anywhere, and you’re wondering how to find genuine suppliers, this article is for you.
Sources of Genuine Bird Nests
In order to identify a genuine bird nest supplier, you need to understand where they get the nests from. Edible bird nests are built by three different species of Swiftlets birds namely; Collocalia Fuchipaga, Collocalia Esculanta, and Collocalia Maxima. Most of these birds build their nests in limestone caves, while others build theirs in abandoned houses close to town. These birds build these nests to raise their offspring.
The Collocalia Fuchipaga
The Collocalia Fuchipaga produces the White bird nests which are considered the highest quality of all. This species of Swiftlets uses its saliva to build its nest. The saliva acts as gelatinous strands. The nest of this species is made up of 87%- 97% saliva and other items like feather. The high percentage of saliva makes it a rich minerals and nutrient source and it is the reason why White nests are seen as the highest quality of all.
The Collocalia Esculanta
The Collocalia Esculanta species uses its saliva and leaves to build its nests. As such, the nests often contain 5-15% of the bird’s saliva while the rest are leaves. Also, the nests are often transparent, grayish in color, and glossy.
The Collocalia Maxima
The Collocalia Maxima species uses its feathers and saliva to build nests. These nests look dull, they are creamy in color, and glossy. The nest is often made up of 5% saliva while the rest is the bird’s feathers. Collocalia Maxima’s nests are absolutely safe and healthy for human consumption. Here are relevant tips to help you differentiate fake nests suppliers from authentic nests suppliers:
Genuine bird nest suppliers allow buyers to inspect them before buying. Avoid buying from suppliers that doesn’t permit physical inspection. Some nests are pre-packaged to prevent people from inspecting them. Do not buy pre-packaged ones.
When you inspect any nest, observe the sizes. Genuine ones are not all in the same sizes. All species of Swiftlets are not exactly the same and even within the same species, sizes are different. As such, all sizes of the nests cannot be the same. But all fake ones often have the same sizes.
Ask for evidence of government approval
Before you buy from any supplier, ask for proof of government approval. In several different countries where bird nest is available for sale the government often has a regulatory agency to check the activities of suppliers.
Perceive the scent
Bird nests are often harvested after the young Swiftlets are weaned and have flown off. As such, the nests often have mild egg scent. As you observe the nests, pay rapt attention to the scent emanating from it. The ones sold by fake suppliers hardly have any scent and if it does, it hardly smells like eggs. Fake ones often smell of bleach chemical if observed closely.
Observe the colors
The color of nests sold by fake suppliers is often absolutely white or reflective. Such fake ones have been chemically bleached and they are unhealthy and harmful if consumed. Authentic ones are often creamy in color and not absolutely reflective or transparent.
Try the bird nest water experiment
You can try this water experiment to verify if a bird nest is fake or genuine. Start by soaking a small portion of it in water for some minutes. Carefully pull the nest’s strands. If the strands breaks instantly with ease, then the nest is not authentic. Genuine ones are made by Swiftlets and the saliva of the bird solidify. Ideally, it would require almost 48 hours or more to soak a genuine nest before its strands can pull loosely.
How to spot fake suppliers
Most fake bird nest suppliers often pre-package it to prevent physical inspection. Such nests are often sealed in a small container and labeled. Be careful if you intend to buy them. They are often unhealthy and extremely harmful. Fake suppliers make their nests from different materials. Some of such materials include fungus, gelatin, glue and flour, pigskin, sea gum or tree weed.
Fake producers know how to make their fake nests look authentic, but there are ways to identify fake ones. Bird nests are fragile and break easily. Fake ones do not break easily, they are elastic. Also, fake ones have glossy surface and when touched, they feel like plastic. Before you buy from any supplier, touch the nest to know how it feels and observe its level of elasticity.