That was some funny shit guys
Bird’s Nest Drink
In Taiwan and China, we call it 燕窩(edible nest of cliff swallows)
Most of the western friends of mine in Taiwan seems to like it actually, since it tastes like jelly, and it is usually mixed with syrup made of crystal sugar.
Anyone who is interested in it can go to this wiki page to find more information. I think the information in that page is quite accurate.
Even though I think bird's nest soup tastes good. Mixing bird's nest with soda feels disgusting to me, too. XD
Poor bombcast hosts...
If you think bird's nest alone is disgusting, you should see centry eggs! Haha, all western friends of mine in Taiwan were terrified simply by the looks of a centry egg, let alone trying to taste it. XD
Centry egg sliced open
There is a 'farming method' in Thailand or Vietnam where they are making homes for the Swiftlets while harvesting the vomit nests. Only the white-nest swiftlets (Aerodramus fuciphagus) and the black-nest swiftlets (Aerodramus maximus) contribute to the lucrative market.
I was going to say there must be a way to make "mock nest" soups, but as you see below everyone is ahead and fake bird or adulterated nest is a booming business. What I LOVE about the quest to find adulterants being sold as 100% real is that the scientific methods used is called...Raman spectroscopy.
Characterization of swiftlet edible bird nest, a mucin glycoprotein, and its adulterants by Raman microspectroscopy
"Raw white edible bird’s nest (EBN), also known as cubilose or nest cement, is a relatively strong, hardened, composite material made mainly of dried strands of amorphous mucin glycoprotein, secreted by male swiftlets of genus AerodramusorC ollocalia during the nesting and breeding season from a pair of sublingual glands under the tongue. The strands are bound together with feathers, and occasionally impregnated with tiny sand grains regurgitated from the birds gizzard, making a strong composite material to bear the weight of the nestlings. These swiftlets are native to the Indo-Pacific region and commonly found in South-East Asian countries, predominantly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The raw EBN, carefully cleaned of feathers, sand grains, etc., by soaking and picking of impurities with tweezers, besides being a Chinese food delicacy, has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 1000 years, and is reputed to have nutritional and medicinal properties (Guo et al.2006; Haghani et al.2016; Vimala et al.2012).
Analysis of EBN using modern chemical methods can be traced back to 1921 where it was shown that EBN is a mucin glycoprotein with properties of both carbohydrate and protein (Wang 1921). Structurally, a glycoprotein is a dendritic polymer, like a bottle brush, with a polypeptide backbone and hundreds of polysaccharide chains attached to it by O- or N-glyosidic linkages, and has molecular weight of 40–130 kDa (Wieruszeski et al. 1987). By proximate analysis on EBN (Marcone 2005), it was found that the protein portion constitutes ~62 % by weight and is made up of 17 types of amino acids, with serine, valine, isoleucine, tyrosine, aspartic acid and asparagines as the major components, but with an absence of proline and two essential amino acids—tryptophan and cysteine. The carbohydrate portion makes up ~28 % by weight, and the major saccharides are sialic acid (N-acetylneuraminic acid), galactose, N-acetylgalactosamine, N-acetylglucosamine, fucose and mannose. The rest are moisture (~8 %), ash/minerals (~2 %), and fat (<1 %).
A kilogram of the cleaned white EBN retails for more than USD 1500 per kg today as the supply is limited due to the labour intensive manual cleaning process, increasing labour cost, and high demand for EBN especially in China with growing affluence among the population. Given a global output of about a million kg per year, this translates to a trade worth USD 1.5 billion per year. The high price of EBN is an inducement for EBN processors to adulterate it to increase profits. Consumers and retailers often rely on sight and smell to try to pick out the genuine EBN. It is often difficult to detect adulterated EBN by such simple (macroscopic) physical means, especially when the adulteration level is no more than 10 % by weight. An official or standard method has yet to be found for the authentication and quality surveillance of EBN.
Edible adulterants are incorporated into the cleaned EBN to increase its weight, and Type I adulterants may be introduced by up to 10 % in weight to evade detection with the naked eye. Type I adulterants which are external to the EBN cement, however, can be detected with a microscope due to differences in their surface structure. Type II adulterants which are embedded in the EBN cement are more covert and difficult to detect visually. More sophisticated techniques and tools are required to identify and detect Type II adulterants.
Spectroscopic methods can provide a simple, non-invasive and fast way to detect both Type I and II adulterants. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, an absorption technique, has been used for detecting Type I adulterants which can be picked out from the EBN by examining the bands of the adulterants in the fingerprint region. If the adulterants are embedded in the EBN cement in small amounts, as in the case of Type II adulterants, FTIR might not be sensitive enough to detect the adulterants.
Raman spectroscopy is a scattering technique, complementary to absorption FTIR, often able to give a richer vibrational spectrum with sharper lines due to differences in spectral selection rules. It is non-invasive, applicable to opaque samples, is not affected by moisture in the sample, but has yet to be employed as an authentication method of EBN. The frequencies of the Raman lines correspond to vibrational modes in a molecule, and each molecule has a distinct set of vibrational modes. The intensity of a Raman line is proportional to the concentration of the molecule present. Hence the vibrational fingerprint of both frequency and intensity in Raman spectroscopy is routinely used in analysis to determine the kind of molecule and its concentration. Raman microspectroscopy, with spatial resolution of about 1 µm, also has an advantage over FTIR in being able to focus on tiny spots over various regions of the sample, and therefore it is a good tool to identify both Type I and II adulterants that may either be lumpy or uniformly distributed across the EBN cement. Raman spectroscopy has been used successfully in food analysis and in the study of various agricultural products (Martin et al.2015; Pereira et al.2003; Yang and Ying2011). The aim of this work was to investigate the potential of Raman microspectroscopy as a rapid, non-invasive, and label free technique for studying EBN and detecting adulterants in EBN. ..."
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