1. What is the history of bird’s nest consumption culture?
Value of bird nest today derived from the belief and proven result from human application for almost a thousand years in the traditional Chinese medicine. Traced back to Tang dynasty 618-907 AD, the Emperor ordered General Chen Hue to travel the world in the ship and to look for land and food. It is when General Chen Hue went for a long voyage visiting the South Asian Sea Islands where he found the new peculiar food taken by the island villagers. He loaded this new food from bird saliva into his ship and wandered into farther sea. When he came back to his homeland China, people were surprised to see him and his crew looked so healthy and vibrant. Skin glowed. Since then bird nest is considered as rare royal food. Chinese traditional medicine later on confirmed benefits to health and youth after a long record of real efficacy. Nowadays, more Chinese people can afford this magical food and are enjoying the benefit for their own health and their love ones. It is a ‘must take’ food for pregnant woman and mother as well as for people recovered from sickness or operation. Today with advance scientific technology, bird nest has been tested and proven of its benefits. There are hundreds of reports done by scientist in many countries which finally explained the Myth about Bird nest to the new generation.
2. What exactly is this bird's nest?
Bird’s nest refers to the saliva produced by the Swiftlet birds, while making its nest. The saliva acts as glue, pasted to form a thin flaky wall in the nest. When the saliva comes in contact with air, it hardens and a white bird’s nest cup is formed. The entire process takes around 30 days.
The saliva, though moist and in liquid form when produced, will harden into a type of strands. The saliva is considered the cement that holds the entire nest together, and the strands are interwoven throughout the nest. The strands should look almost completely gapless in order to protect the chick during reproduction. Woven into the strands are bits of impurities or items which must be picked out prior to consumption. These impurities can include twigs, mud, or feathers.
A Swiftlet Bird Nest is built primarily for laying eggs and housing the baby Swiftlet. After the eggs have been laid and hatched, the baby Swiftlet will remain in the nest until it is able to fly away independently. The nest then becomes abandoned and will never be re-used. If not harvested, scavengers such as ants, lizards and cockroaches will consume the Bird Nest
3. Knowing the owner of the nest.
Bird that builds nest from her saliva has a scientific name called ‘Collocalia’. There are two types of bird nest considered by its origin, cave nest and house nest. Both types have the same scientific molecule structure. They may be different in shape, color, moisture and minerals due to the environment where the nest is located but the saliva scientific structure is, in fact, the same.
Collocalia will start preparing their saliva nest to lay eggs when they start mating three times a year. After about 90 days, the baby and the mother will fly away. Collocalia sleeps like a bat using their feet hanging. Their nest is only for laying egg and taking care of small birds before they fly away. They do not need their nest to ‘live in’. When they will mate again, they will then build another nest. They do not normally use the old nest to hatch their eggs. Each nest takes around 20 days to complete. The nest we took from each period was abandoned.
4. How many types of bird's nest are there?
Bird’s nest can be classified into Cave Nest, House Nest and Grass Nest.
They are then grouped further into White Nest, Golden Nest and Red Nest.
Cave Nests: – The cave nest refers to nests constructed by the Swiftlet in caves and on cliffs. Due to the harsh natural climate and environment, the nest is firm, hard and deep in color. It is not as well shaped as the house nest and exhibits higher impurities. The cave nest is crunchy with a low swelling capacity that lengthens the time for it to swell when preparing are found in the cave. Cave nests have tiny feathers and firm texture.
House Nests: – The House nest refers to nests that are built in wooden-roofed swallow farmhouses that are humid and dark. The interior temperature (28°C – 30°C), brightness and relative humidity (90%) are relatively similar to the conditions found in the bird’s natural cave habitat.They have fewer feathers and their texture is much softer after they’re cooked.
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 birds 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 cooked egg white.
5. Why is some Bird Nest different in color?
Bird Nest contains minerals like copper, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium and sodium. When these minerals are oxidized, they will result in a color change to the Bird Nest. It is inadvisable to consume heavily-coloured Bird Nest.
6. House Bird Nest is better than Cave Bird Nest? True or not?
Cave bird’s nests are mainly harvested from natural caves in the states south of Thailand. The harvesters often face considerable danger when harvesting these bird nests. Since cave bird nests are formed by free, naturally-living Swiftlet, some people consider them to be more valuable than birds nests found in houses. Thus, cave bird nests often fetch a higher price as compared to house bird nest.
It is important to know that cave nest or house nest are from the same collocolia specie thus it has the same bio active value from the glycoprotein which is the main content.
However, unknown to many consumers in the market, cave bird nests generally contain more foreign materials and feathers than house nests. Besides, cave bird nest are exposed to the risk of heavy metals contamination from external environmental factors.
7. What is the different between house nest and cave nest.
Being the same bird species called Collocalia, house nest and cave nest have the same molecule structure, thus, it gives the same bioactive benefit. The only different is cave nest has some mineral from the cave stone. From the scientific research of mineral content, the only different of cave nest is that it contains much more magnesium than the house nest.
8. Cave nest is more expensive than house nest, why is that?
Cave nest is more expensive than house nest due to the concession fee of the cave nest and the collecting process. In the old time, there are no ‘houses’ available to birds so people can only find bird nest in the cave. Since hundreds of years, Collocalia starts to look for food in the inland and it has found a safer and calmer manmade ‘house’ to live in. They later developed the habits of living in the ‘house’. House nest is lower in height and is in an easier access position while cave nest is more difficult to collect due to the height and cave natural structure.
9. Are we stealing their nest?
The nest that was collected from each period was abandoned. There is no such thing as stealing the nest from the bird or killing the baby bird for its nest for the bird house. Each house nest would be checked before collecting due to the easier access. No one wants to kill the bird. In contrary, it is important to make sure the bird feel safe so that it will come back to live and lay the egg in the same place.
10. What is in the bird’s saliva?
Collocalia eats insects and small animal from the forest on the mountain nearby or from tropical trees near the sea. With the modern day advanced technology and research conducted in the laboratory, it is now known that bird nest nutrition consists of carbohydrate, protein, minerals as many other food. But the difference is that 80% of bird’s saliva contains Glycoprotein which is the bonded molecule of carbohydrate and protein linked together. It is this Glycoprotein, a natural water soluble molecule that has the natural bioactive benefit more than the normal protein alone.
11. What is Glycoprotein?
Glycoprotein is a base of human molecule structure. It is an important element in cell matrix and bone. It works as Hormone and vitamin or mineral carriers and also as Lubricator and immunity enhancer in body system. Four Nobel Prizes for Medicine in recent years (1999) have been given to scientists on how cells communicate, and its importance to physical health & well-being, which led to focus on glyco-protein.
Today a number of naturally occurring substances have already been identified as having high glycoprotein content. One of them is Collocalia saliva or bird nest.
Glycoprotein is a molecule of carbohydrate plus protein, rich with minerals and 19 amino acids that are essential to physical development & reparation in cell level. More than 80% of bird nest contained the same water soluble structure of this glycoprotein. It helps and influences bio-activities of the body system.
12. What Glycoprotein in bird nest does?
Immune System: Bird nest extract has been found to increase the effect of mitogen response of human being central blood monocytes (white blood cells). Glycoproteins in bird nest stimulate white blood cell (human peripheral blood monocytes) to increase the number and therefore increases immune system of human body.
Antioxidants: Bird Nest is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances or nutrients that can prevent or delay the oxidation of our bodies. Health problems including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. that are supplied by oxidative damages. Insufficient levels of antioxidants cause oxidative stress and may damage cells.
Reports from the teams of scientists in Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand, have revealed that bird nest extract stimulates the proliferation of cells which is an EGF-like activity. The fibroblast cells which play major role in improving collagen at skin cells, is enhanced and regenerated. (Kathan, Weeks 1969, N. Houdret 1975, M. Oda 1983. Ng 1986, Kong 1986 1987, T.H Lee 2005, Abidin 2011, N Mazukawa 2011, K.B.Roh 2011.)
13. Is PrimaNest new in the market?
The PrimaNest Brand is new to the market. However the family has been in the Birds Nest housing business for many decades. Today we want to introduce the premium bird nest brand to the market with the concept of “the way it should be” as we cook at home. The principle is to introduce the bird nest that is specifically pure authentic selected, 100% hand-cleaned as an export quality product from Thailand.
14. Is PrimaNest new in the market?
PhithanLife has its own Bird House farm in the Southern part of Thailand. Due to high market demand and limited supply we also source nest from selected house within the southern Thailand region. We only select the best nest which conforms to our quality standard.
15. Do we use bleaching for our bird’s nest?
We DO NOT bleach our bird’s nest. It is one of the fundamental pillars of our QA policy. The cleaning process for our product demands that NO chemical is used in the cleaning cycle. It is 100% hand cleaned with purified water in the traditional way.
16. Why is bird's nest good for us?
Bird’s nest contains glycoprotein & amino acid and is rich in mineral content such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, carbohydrate, iron and iodine – nutrients that have many benefits to the body, such as improve metabolism, tissue and cell growth; and enrich vital energy.
Experts have concluded that bird’s nests have three main functions:
Enhance the rebirth of cells and tissues
Improve the immune system
Strengthen the body health and accelerate recovery from illness
17. Who should consume bird's nest?
According to the traditional Chinese medicine, bird nest is a great food for all ages and gender.
Ladies – Frequent consumption results in fairer skin – helps you stay young and look radiant.
Pregnant women – Consumption during pregnancy improves the immune functions of the fetus and mothers will be able to recover easily after giving birth.
(Note: Please consult your doctor before consuming bird’s nest as suitability depends on individual’s body system. Best consume after 5th month of pregnancy.)
Elderly – Clears phlegm, strengthens lungs and kidneys, improves spleen as well as enhances appetite.
Children – Enhances immune ability, resulting in less vulnerability to colds or flu.
(Note: Best consumed age 3 and above)
Men – Improves kidneys and strengthens lungs, and therefore less inclined to get weak.
Tips: Bird’s nest do not cause allergy, unless you are allergic to other product content in the process which we have not.
18. Is there scientific prove for the nutritious value of bird's nest?
There are many studies that have proven the effectiveness of consuming bird’s nest:
A Clinical Experimental prospective:
According to a recent medical research reported by Hong Kong Chinese University, the cell division enzyme and hormone of bird’s nest can promote reproduction and rebirth of human cells. The Glycoprotein content directly stimulates cell growth in our immune system. As a result, body metabolism is enhanced and functional effects are greatly improved. Effective results of bird’s nest are observed when they are consumed by adults (particularly women), children, elderly, and patients.
Chinese Medication’s Point of View:
The following is a list of bird’s nest benefits documented by TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Practitioners:
Enhances rebirth of cells and tissues (Epidermal growth factor).
Enhances the body’s immune system through promotion of cell division.
Strengthens the body’s self-regulating actions and resistance to disease.
Improving heart functions and to reducing blood pressure.
Assist in prevention of cancer through rich antioxidants.
Aides in the regeneration and growth of cells.
Aides in the treatment of cancer patients
Regulate blood supply all around the body.
Improves the skin complexion.
Bird’s Nest from a Nutrition Point of View:
Birds Nest contains several organic nutrients including high water-soluble glycoprotein and amino acid. It is an excellent restorative food that is beneficial for any age or gender. The main nutrition contents of bird’s nest are (glycoprotein) and amino acids (80%) (amide, humin, arginine, cystine, histidine and lysine) and various minerals 6%) such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and iodine.
About half the bird’s nest comprises of protein. Protein is a macronutrient that the human body needs in relatively large amounts. First, it provides the essential amino acids that our own tissues can’t produce. Secondly, protein provides nitrogen to produce non-essential amino acids and other nitrogen-containing compounds.
Amino Acid Bird’s nest contains 19 amino acids such as arginine cystein, histidine tryptophan, etc. Amino acids can be best described as the construction blocks from which protein is made.
Glucosamine (N – acetylglucosamine)
Glucosamine is a natural substance that is found in cartilage, which is the padding between the bones of a joint like hip or knee. When the cartilage starts to wear away, the bones begin to rub against each other as called osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is also a supplement that may help to reduce osteoarthritis pain and stiffness, and improve movement, especially in the knee.
Sialic Acid (N – acetylneuraminic acid : NANA)
N-Acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac or NANA) is the predominant sialic acid found in mammalian cells. It is found in complex glycans on mucins and glycoproteins at the cell membrane. Neu5Ac residues are also found in glycolipid, a crucial component of neuronal membranes found in the brain. Along with involvement in preventing infections (mucus associated with mucous membranes — mouth, nose, GI, respiratory tract), Neu5Ac acts as a receptor for influenza viruses.
Galactosamine is a constituent of hyaluronic acid, a potent water-binding agent. Hyaluronic acid is found in many types of tissues, including brain, skin and connective tissues. It acts as a lubricating agent. Medicine makes use of hyaluronic acid in wound or burn dressings, during cataract or corneal transplantation surgery, as an osteoarthritis treatment and as a plastic surgery aid.
Various types of minerals like zinc, copper, iron, sodium, phosphorous have also been found in analyses of bird’s nests. These minerals are essential as our need for oxygen to sustain all mental and physical processes and for our total well-being. They are important in maintaining all physiological processes as they made up the constituents of teeth, bones, tissues, blood, muscle, and nerve cells.
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Health problems such as heart disease, muscular degeneration, diabetes, cancer, etc. are all contributed by oxidative damage.
Antioxidants may also boast our immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.
19. How often can I eat Bird Nest? Can I eat too much Bird Nest?
เBird Nest can be consumed daily. An average person can consume anything between 3g to 5g of dry Bird Nest. Any excess consumption will be discharged by the body.
20. When is the best time to consume Bird Nest?
It is best to take a spoon of bird nest in the morning when the body is fresh and the stomach is empty, ready to take full benefit of bird nest. It is also best before sleep as the rich antioxidants will help the body to eradicate free radicals as the body heals during our sleep.
21. What is EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor)
Epidermal Growth Factor: EGF or anti-aging element was discovered in human (HEGF) in 1956 by Prof. Dr Stanley Cohen. Later Dr Kong and his team discovered EGF activities in bird‘s saliva. These anti-aging activities in bird nest helps make skin smooth and vibrant, reduce wrinkle and fine lines from age and pollution. Hence, make skin looks younger.EGF is the hormone that is produced by salivary and Brunner gland. EGF is a growth factor that stimulates cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation by binding to its receptor EGFR. Human EGF is a 6045-Da protein. Normally human body can produce EGF and will reduce this process when age.
22. Some scientific research about bird nest and EGF
Dr Kong et al (1987) demonstrated an epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like activity in aqueous extract of edible bird’s nest that stimulated the DNA synthesis in 3T3 fibroblast in a dose dependent manner in vitro.Matsukawa N, Matsumoto M, Bukawa W, Chiji H, Nakayama K, Hara H, Tsukahara T.Kyoto Institute of Nutrition and Pathology, Inc., Kyoto, Japan. (2011) Demonstrated that oral administration of edible bird’s nest extract (EBNE) improved bone strength and calcium concentration in the femur of ovariectomized rats. These results suggest that EBNE is effective for the improvement of bone loss and skin aging in postmenopause all women. KIM and his team demonstrated that bird nest has anti-aging effect by prevent MMP -1 expression via down – regulation of ERK /INK and AP -1 pathway
23. What is the different between bird nest skincare and other skincare?
Most skincare may help hide fine lines or add some skin nutrition or moisture to skin at dermis layer but rarely prevents aging of skin. Skincare that has EGF helps stimulate cell from within. EGF skincare gives better skin condition by enhances the ongoing dermis cell proliferation. It also enhances forming of collagen and elastic fiber that are connected to fibroblast skin cell. Therefore, bird Nest skincare helps prevent and reduce aging wrinkle, pore, freckle hence making skin brighter and increase elasticity.
24. Why PrimaNest EGF skincare?
There are many bird nest skincare available in the market today. But PhithanLife is the producer of an organic bird nest product as we are 100% non-chemical from the origin of the bird nest source. The bird nest extract used in PrimaNest is also a non-chemical extraction process that is patent pending by our partner. To ensure the efficacy of our extract process, we tested in vitro with fibroblast cell culture at the University research laboratory. We also tested our final PrimaNest Nest Cream in vivo with Dermscan Group (France) to ensure that PrimaNest Nest Cream does have full effect of EGF as promised. And this is our commitment to be the expert in bird nest phenomenon.
25. What is the retort technology?
Retort processing for food is the most accepted technology of food preservation by using heat and pressure to cook food in a strong and sealed package. This food processing technology is world widely accepted as export quality food product with shelf life of 2 years.
26. What is PrimaNest caviar? A fish egg? How to eat it?
Bird’s nest is known as Caviar of the east for its best rare food only for royalty-like connoisseur in the East. It is as precious as caviar. PrimaNest Caviar is prepared and pasteurized with the advanced technology for export quality product. The bottle contains pure, cleaned and ready to eat with neither liquid nor sugar for pure benefit of bird nest that can be treasured in many ways of consumption; hot, cold, savory or sweet.