Most people in swiftlet farming industries are feeling the heat about the nitrite issue between Chinese Authorities and the Malaysian Producers.
It looks like the issue will not be resolved within the next few weeks.
According to a reliable source the Chinese Authorities are sticking to "zero" part per million(ppm) nitrite content while the industry have difficulties is meeting this requirement.
The normal nitrite level in most birdnests produced in BHs is within 50 to 250 ppm.
Cave nests can be as high as double or triple the amount.
Remember these nitrite occurred naturally due to those ammonia gas produced when those birds faeces rots.
My understanding is that there are some kind of bacteria that feed on these ammonia gas and their excretion resulted into a kind of nitrite.
The higher the ammonia gas inside your BH plus high wetness will encourage the bacteria to multiply and produce more nitrite.
The amount of nitrite is said to be proportionate to the colour of these affected nests. The red coloured can contain as high as 700 ppm
These nitrites are soluble in plain water.
The only way to remove them is to soak these nests inside a pail of plain water.
The problem is if you soaked them for too long these nests will be too soggy thus difficult to get them back into those bra cup shape.
What happened to other valuable minerals,protein, collagen and etc. that are valuable to end product?
These portion of the nests that are soluble will also be dissolved. As such the so call beneficial value will also be lost during the soaking operation.
Based on a reliable source the Chinese and Malaysian Authorities is currently working on a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on how to produce nest with minimum nitrite contents.
There is no specific time frame but if these so call SOP is acceptable plus some relevant procedures followed the nitrite will be raised to 30ppm.
A very difficult period for every BH owner.
We can only wait for announcement that will breath some fresh air into the industry.
What happened between now and when the SOP is confirmed?
My advise to all are:
1) Try harvest your house birdnests on a regular basis. Do not allow these nests to be exposed to those ammonia gas for too long.
2) Once harvested, try not to keep them inside your BH. Find a suitable place to keep them.
3) Never allow your birdnests to turn colour. Make sure they are white without any traces of turning into yellow or red.
The above have something to do with the nitrite level inside your swiftlet nests.