For more than a thousand years, edible bird’s nests have been considered a luxurious delicacy in China and other parts of Asia. Usually made from the nests of swiftlets, a specie of bird native to Southeast Asia, genuine bird’s nests are a superfood filled with supplementary benefits. For instance, for pregnant women, consuming bird’s nest products can help improve the condition of their skin, prevent iron deficiency, and strengthen their baby’s bones and muscles.
However, in order to make sure that you get the full benefits of a bird’s nest, it is necessary that you purchase only an authentic one. Fake bird’s nests are currently sold everywhere. In this article, you will learn the most effective way to tell authentic bird’s nests apart from fake ones.
The Difference Between Real and Fake Bird’s Nests
1. Appearance and shape
Depending on quality, genuine bird’s nests usually come in the shapes of triangles, strips, cakes, or cups. You may also occasionally find tiny feathers stuck within the nest’s fibres. When you soak them in water, real bird’s nests will slowly lose their shape together with the appearance of more striking nest fibres. Compared to real bird’s nests, fake ones will have a relatively bumpy and uniform surface with a little medicinal fragrance.
An excellent way to differentiate real nests from fake ones is to look at the colour that appears after you soak them. If it is a real bird’s nest, it will leave behind clear water. The nest itself will also keep its colour. On the other hand, a fake bird’s nest will show indications of discolouration because of artificial colouring. If you have purchased the more high-end variety of bird’s nests like blood nest, you should see that its colour remains vibrantly red after soaking to ensure its authenticity.
3. Texture and transparency
Under close scrutiny, real bird’s nests will come with an uneven structure. In comparison, a fake bird’s nest will have more coarsely distributed and neater nest fibres. When it comes to transparency, a genuine bird’s nest will have a semi-transparent appearance, unlike a fake one that will either be reflective or non-transparent. The reflective characteristic of fake bird’s nests is a consequence of unwanted chemicals.
How to Test for Fake Bird’s Nest
- The Soak Test
The soaking process is vital to turning edible bird’s nests into a bird’s nest soup. This process typically takes about 1 to 2 hours and is essential for the rehydration procedure that is necessary to properly prepare the bird’s nests for soups and beverages. To spot fake bird’s nests during the soaking process, you first need to pay attention to the nest’s shape before soaking.
Real bird’s nests will turn into a formless, gelatinous shape after around 30 minutes, while fake ones are more uniform. The fibres of a real bird’s nest will still be visible as well, but not as closely uniform as when dry. Meanwhile, a fake bird’s nest will keep its uniform shape during the process and have a little fatty/friend or chemical smell. Its surface also has a tendency to be bumpy.
Next, you should also look at the size of the bird’s nest after soaking. Genuine bird’s nests usually double in size, while fake ones do not expand. As a matter of fact, authentic bird’s nests have the ability to absorb up to 7 times their weight in water.
Finally, pay attention to the soaking water, too. Since edible bird’s nests come from the water-based saliva of swiftlets, they should mix well with the water. When stirring a bird’s nest while in soaking water, a bubbly foam should appear on the surface. On the other hand, because fake bird’s nests are created using chemicals, stirring them in the soaking water will only cloud the water.
- The Crumble Test
A simpler way to test the genuineness of your edible bird’s nests is to have them crumbled between your fingers. Real bird’s nests should break down and turn into a powder-like substance during the crumbling process. Although fake bird’s nests can replicate the fragility of genuine bird’s nests, there is one critical difference you will likely notice – fake nests will break off into chunks rather than powder.
There is no doubt that bird’s nests are among the most versatile, luxurious, and nutritious delicacies in the world. However, to enjoy the full benefits of this amazing product from the East, it is necessary to make sure that you only purchase authentic bird’s nests. By knowing these methods as well as the factors you need to consider, you can guarantee that you only serve safe and genuine bird’s nests during every meal.
Make sure to get the most authentic and the best bird’s nest in Singapore by ordering only at Royal Bird’s Nest! All of our bird’s nest products are 100% real and come with no artificial chemicals and preservatives that can harm your health as well as that of your loved ones. For as low as $98, you can already get a taste of our genuine, flavourful, and nutritious concentrated bird’s nests dessert. For more information about our products or recent bird nest promotion, do not hesitate to contact us here.