Today I was with my Nest Processing Sifu. Remember those raw nests that I delivered for processing? They were ready and I need to collect them for tonight's delivery.
While preparing my goods I tried my luck to get some information on what is the best way in keeping those raw nests from being damaged.
My Sifu indicated that one of the biggest culprit in destroying your raw nests is fungus. If your raw nests are wet there is a very strong chance that your good will be moldy within a few short weeks.
The best he said was to dry them up first. Reduce their wetness to about 2% to 3%. You might want to dry them using cool dry air, usually house fans. Once that is done you might want to keep them seal in a vacuum bag. Store them in a freezer to kill those insects (flea, lice, hama) for 24 hours and then move them to your storage area. Your store area must be of room temperature and dry.
If you follow the above steps your raw nest will last for a very long time and will not change color.
Try not to leave those raw nests in wooden boxes and exposed to normal air humidity and temperature. The chance of fungus growth is very high and within a very short period of time they will become bad.
What about process nests?
The answer is the same. Once the nests are processed they will be required to be dried to the maximum. It is better to use cool air drying then hot air drying. Normally if you use hot air drying the nests will turn yellowish.
Once that is done you can either keep them in a vacuum sealed plastic bags or in a plastic containers.
Do you need to water them?
Well when you want to keep them there is no need to water them. It is good to keep them totally dry. However when you wanted to sell them you might need to spray some water. The amount of water shall be dependent on your client's request. Once watered you can seal them in those vacuum pack plastic and let them soak for one or two days to get the right texture.
Most end users wanted the processed nests to be with good textures, white colored and big in size. Spraying of water will give the required shape and texture. You must know how much water to add plus how to process them.
Hmm .... now I begin to understand more things which I used to take for granted.
What else did I learned from my first processing experiences?
Oh yeh, I lost nearly 14% of the original 1.5 kilograms that I delivered. Most of the losses were due to water and process works. Those seats that now become broken nests seam to make me loose more then I expected.
Based on this experience the actual cost of the processed nest will be as follows:
Actual cost of raw nests + 14% lost factor + processing cost + broken nests lost.
Be careful when you buy those nests before thinking of reselling them as process nests.