Please remember to read an article written is the Star newspaper today. (If you have not please see the attached article at the bottom of this article).
Just read the article and try not to make any conclusion yet. If I were you get a proper person who are more knowledgeable or exposed to the red nest industry.
I got some photos to show you that there are such thing as Red Nests produced by those very old bird houses in Indonesia.
Most of the BHs which produces these red nests are said to be at least 30-50 years old with a very thick layer of bird shit on the floor.
It seem that the bird shit during decomposition will produces ammonia gas. The more the shit on the floor the higher concentration it will accumulated in tight enclosed area.
(Double clicks on any photo shown to get a larger size picture)
The person who gave me these photos bought about 30 kilogram of these nests from the house in these pictures and at that time during my visit he was processing the red nests.
I took a careful looked at those raw red nests and held it close to my eyes. They looked simply marvelous and beautiful with no smell.
If you look carefully at all these pictures you can easily see that there are a few new nests which are ivory white, yes they are, however they will turned yellow then red.
During our early days many people thought that it was the cave rock that make the nest turned red. Some claimed that there is a species of swiftlet that have their saliva in red.
But after having red nests being produced inside human made BHs using wood nesting planks (no more rock surfaces) they old believes are no longer true.
From what I was made to understand, correct me if I am wrong, the color has nothing to do with the ammonia gas but have something to do with a kind of bacteria or microorganism that consumed the ammonia gas and excrete those colors.
With a proper ammonia gas concentration, humidity and temperature the nests can turned red easily. All you need is to introduce the bacteria or microorganism into the BH. (To introduce the bacteria you can just place the red nest inside your BH nesting room).
Frankly those red colors are said to be the "shit" or secretion of these bacteria or microorganism after consuming the ammonia gas.
The longer the nests are being exposed to the ammonia the more "shit" will be produced by those bacteria or microorganism. The nests color will initially turned light yellow then to light red and then to dark red and eventually black.
This might be something to support my bacteria or microorganism theory:
During my visit to the processing center I bought 500 gm processed white nests for a friend. It was 3% wet. Due to some reasons he did not consumed the nests and after three weeks he make an SOS call.
"Harry, I forgot to keep the processed nests properly and now got lot of fungus. Something strange Harry the nests, some of it were turning red."
I was taken back but quickly collected the defective nests and took back to the processing center. The owner of the processing center was surprised too.
"Harry I am surprised with the red colored spots on the nests you brought back. This batch was totally white nests but I think the bacteria or microorganism from those red nests which were under processed during that time must have contaminated them. Never happened before but I think it is those bacteria or microorganism."
Of course there are those people who will taint or spray chemicals for the sake of making fast money but what we need to remember is that there are such thing as red nests.
Many lab tests indicated that there is no extra added value to these red nests but due to a very strong selling power by practically all "Sinseh" in China, Malaysia, Indonesia and so forth the value shoot up to more then double.
Note: This article is not to ridicule any person who were mentioned in the article. My sincere intention is to make all my blog readers to know some truth nothing but the truth. Sorry if I have offended any person.
There are also blue colored nests and puple, I was told.
Someone send this message to me:
I think the red bird nest color is induced by yeast not bacteria. The most likely yeast is Monascus. This yeast will cause red coloring. This is part of the reason why people said the red nest is better than white nest and it is likely the red nest will have blood thinning effect.
Monday August 23, 2010
Consumers fall for Nest-y scam
PETALING JAYA: “Blood nest” – a much sought after variety of bird’s nest – is actually tainted with dangerous chemicals to deceive consumers into paying double the price for a premium grade.
While the normal bird’s nest, which is ivory in colour, can fetch up to RM10,000 a kilo, the reddish “blood nest” fetches up to RM20,000 a kilo.
Traders justify the exorbitant price by claiming the “blood nest” is a premium grade of the Chinese delicacy.
In exposing this scam on Saturday, Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Chua Tee Yong said these tainted bird’s nests were dangerous to health and may even be fatal when consumed by humans.
He said the nests were either sprayed with iodine or stored at premises where there was high ammonia content to give them a uniform bright-red colour.
“Some also use karya gum (from a soft wooded tree) to give the bird’s nest its reddish colour,” he told The Star.
Chua advised the public against purchasing bird’s nest from dubious traders and urged the industry to practise self-regulation to ensure the quality and safety of the product.
He said that all bird’s nests must have a Veterinary Service Department health certificate before they could be exported.
Federation of Bird’s Nest Merchants Associations chairman Datuk Beh Heng Seong said the term “blood nest” was coined by conmen and that there was “no such thing”.
“Bird’s nest is made up of the saliva of swiflets and is ivory in colour. It is impossible for bird’s nest to be red in colour.
“The so-called blood nests have high levels of nitrates from the artificial red colouring added to it,” Beh said, admitting that many consumers had been deceived into paying a high price for the dangerous product.
He said a kilo of bird’s nest costs between RM8,000 and RM10,000 in the market depending on the grade while a kilo of the “blood nest” was between RM15,000 and RM20,000.
Beh said Malaysia produced some 240 tonnes of bird’s nest worth RM1bil a year and 90% of it was exported to China.
Asked whether the federation, comprising 19 associations and 10,000 members nationwide, had tried to rein in those who were cheating consumers, he said they were looking at educating consumers on bird’s nests and coming up with guidelines for the industry.
Meanwhile, Fomca secretary-general Muhd Sha’ani Abdullah urged the Health Ministry to issue guidelines on what a genuine bird’s nest was and to warn consumers of bird’s nests with added colouring.
He said so far, they have not received any complaint from consumers on the so-called “blood nest” but added that could be because consumers were unaware of tainted products in the market.
He suggested that the Health Ministry issue certificates for untainted products.
“Traders should also be responsible by making sure no harmful chemicals are used in their products,” said Muhd Sha’ani.