How to Choose Bird's Nest
Size and volume
Due to its natural formation, bird's nest varies in size and weight. Everything else constant, larger bird’s nests are more expensive. Size does not affect the nutritional values but wider nest are rare and there are more layers of saliva leading to higher expandability.
Color and purity
White nests have a slight ivory color; golden nests have a slight beige or golden color; red nests have a red color. When soaked in water, bird’s nests will expand and turn into a lighter color and the thread become transparent. The water used for soaking shall remain transparent. If the bird’s nest is extremely white and shiny, it may have been bleached and this will greatly reduce the nutrition content.
Taste and humidity
There should be a slight aroma of egg white when cooked. Storage for dry bird’s nest is easier as it can be stored in room temperature. If the moisture content of the bird’s nest is high then the chances of mould is higher, therefore it should be stored in a refrigerator or a cool place.
Price and trustworthiness
Price is dependent on the above factors. The best choice is to purchase from trustworthy shops with quality assurance. Unreasonably and extremely low prices may indicate that the bird’s nest may be chemically treated, which may have reduced the health benefits or even be harmful to your health, or not even be real.
Density and volume after soaking
Nests with thinner threads, fewer gaps and thicker layers will expand more after soaking. Bird’s nest from different areas and types has different expansion ratios.
Real vs. Fake
Fake bird's nest have the following characteristics.
- low translucency and is reflective
- bleach, fishy, or acidic smell
- tight body, glossy surface, no cracks
- hard, tough, plastic substance
- becomes sticky once soaked