Bird's nest is an expensive and nutritious product. Thus, it is important to distinguish a genuine piece of bird's nest. In the market, there are many unethical businessmen who would increase the weight of bird's nest by adding additives like white fungus, jelly and animal skin.
Appearance: Good and genuine nests consist of two main types of filaments:
The outer layer that has longer and bigger filaments whereas the inner part has finer, shorter filaments.
After Cooking: When double boiled for 1-2 hours the bird's nest inner filaments become water-soluble. The outer filaments contain mainly minerals; it is less soluble but gives bird's nest its signature fibrous taste and appearance.
Odour: During double boiling a fine scent of near albumin smell will occur. Much like the smell of faint cooked egg white.
Bird's Nests can also be classified in various colours:
Red Bird Nests: are nests that have a bright red color. Red nests are harvested once or twice annually and constitute about 5% of all bird nests in the market. Due to their scarcity they are often the most expensive.
White Bird Nests: white nests are built with the saliva of Swiftlets who have never mated before (virgin Swiftlets). White nests are the most common bird nests in the market.
Yellow Bird Nests: yellow nests are produced by the same species that produce the white nests. But they are produced by Swiftlets that have mated before.