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Top 5 Debunk Myths about Edible Bird’s Nest

Top 5 Debunk Myths about Edible Bird’s Nest

Have you ever heard any of your friends who boasted that they consumed “blood bird’s nest” during pregnancy which are so costly, not knowing that they are actually the result of swiftlet feces and HARMFUL to health? 

In this post, we are going to share with you Top 5 Myths and common misconceptions about Edible Bird's Nest (EBN), and address them with ACTUAL FACT, supported by proper research papers coupled with our over 20 years of experience in this bird’s nest industry.

Myth 1: EBN is found only in limestone caves?

No. EBN can be found in both limestone caves and modern man-made swiftlet houses.

Over the years, swiftlet farmers like us have successfully recreated within man-made buildings an environment similar to that inside limestone caves, which is conducive for the growing and breeding of swiftlets. With frequent cleaning and proper management of those swiftlet houses, House EBN would contain less impurities, and thus higher cleanliness, as compared to Cave EBN.

Myth 2: Swiftlets are harmed during the EBN harvesting process?

No. In VNest, we practice an ethical farming method where EBN will only be harvested AFTER baby swiftlets have flown off and abandoned the bird’s nest. 

In fact, swiftlets do NOT re-use their old nest after giving birth, since their old nest would harden over time. They will instead make a fresh nest which is more tender and soft, to accommodate for their next breeding. If not harvested, mummy swiftlets will continue building their new nest layering on top of the old nest, which is usually described as “大包” (“big bag”).

Myth 3: Red EBN is blood spitted out by swiftlets & more nutritious?

BIG NO! Swiftlets will not spoil or pollute their own home (bird’s nest) by spitting blood onto their own nest. 

The reddish colour in EBN is often caused by nitrite evaporated and generated from swiftlets’ feces / bird soil, usually happening in swiftlet farms which are poorly maintained. These high volumes of nitrites are harmful to the human body, which was banned by the China government in 2011 during the “sodium nitrite crisis issues”.

Myth 4: EBN is only suitable for pregnant ladies?

Fact: No! EBN serves as a highly nutritious food suitable for consumption by all age groups and gender. 

In fact, out of 9 essential amino acids, 2 of them, namely lysine and tryptophan, are not present in most plant proteins. Hence, EBN could provide a complete amino acid for vegetarians, since it is categorized as vegan as not meat or animal blood. For first timers, we suggest that you take a small quantity of EBN and observe within 3 days if you show any allergic symptoms. 

Myth 5: EBN can be substituted by eating eggs?

No. While eggs also contain protein as present in EBN, the most valuable nutrition in EBN is called “sialic acid”. 

Apart from EBN, high levels of sialic acid are also detected in human breast milk, and rarely exist in other food or drinks. Scientific research has shown that sialic acid can facilitate brain development, intelligence and cognitive performance of offsprings.


“Prevalence of Nitrite and Nitrate Contents and Its Effect on Edible Bird Nest’s Color” (2013) by Mohammadjavad Paydar & 5 Ors

“Edible Bird’s Nest: The Functional Values of the Prized Animal-Based Bioproduct From Southeast Asia–A Review” (2021) by Ting Hun Lee & 7 Ors

“Effect of Maternal Administration of Edible Bird’s Nest on the Learning and Memory Abilities of Suckling Offspring in Mice” (2018) by Yong Xie & 6 Ors

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