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Edible bird's nest: Food or medicine?

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Edible bird's nest: Food or medicine?

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Abstract

Edible bird's nest (EBN) is derived from the saliva of certain types of swiflets. It is consumed in many parts of the world for its nutritional and medicinal values. Although many claims have been made on the therapeutic and health-promoting effects of EBN, scientific documentations regarding these effects are very limited in published literature. It is not until recently that the biological effects of EBN are being investigated and evidence-based studies are being conducted. Several studies have found that EBN may enhance cell proliferation and differentiation and various beneficial effects have been reported in vitro as well as in vivo. While these studies point towards the potential use of EBN in the treatment or even prevention of several diseases, the mechanisms of action of EBN remain largely unknown and more explorations are needed. This review is one of the very few scientific reviews on EBN which focuses on recent evidence-based discoveries.

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... It is produced by swiftlet species, commonly found in Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Its consumption among Asians has a long history and it is thought to improve overall general health [1,2]. ...
... Interest in these claims has grown considerably over the years and studies have been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of EBN towards the claimed benefits. It is now known that EBN has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and bone strengthening properties among others [2][3][4]. EBN contains many bioactive compounds that are thought to be responsible for its health promoting effects including glucosamine, lactoferrin, sialic acid, amino acids, fatty acids, triacylglycerol, vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants [1,2,[5][6][7]. ...
... It is now known that EBN has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and bone strengthening properties among others [2][3][4]. EBN contains many bioactive compounds that are thought to be responsible for its health promoting effects including glucosamine, lactoferrin, sialic acid, amino acids, fatty acids, triacylglycerol, vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants [1,2,[5][6][7]. ...
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Edible birds' nest (EBN) is reported to be antioxidant-rich. However, the fate of its antioxidants after oral consumption is not yet reported. To explore this, we hypothesized that EBN antioxidants are released from their matrix when subjected to in vitro simulated gastrointestinal digestion. EBN samples were extracted using hot water (100[degree sign]C) with or without subsequent sequential enzymatic digestion using pepsin (10,000 units), pancreatin (36 mg) and bile extracts (112.5 mg). Additionally, pH changes (8.9 to 2 and back to 8.9) similar to the gut were applied, and a 10 KDa dialysis tubing was used to simulate gut absorption. The antioxidant capacities of the water extracts of EBN before and after digestion were then determined using ABTS and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays, while the protective effects of the EBN samples against hydrogen peroxide-induced toxicity in HEPG2 cells were determined using MTT assay and acridine orange (AO)/propidium iodide (PI) staining. Antioxidant assays (ABTS and ORAC) showed that the undigested EBN water extract had little antioxidant activity (1 and 1%, respectively at 1000 mug/mL) while at similar concentrations the digested samples had significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced antioxidant activities, for samples inside (38 and 50%, respectively at 1000 mug/mL) and outside (36 and 50%, respectively at 1000 mug/mL) the dialysis tubing, representing absorbed and unabsorbed samples, respectively. Cell viability and toxicity assays also suggested that the EBN extracts were non-toxic to HEPG2 cells (cell viabilities of over 80% at 1000 mug/mL), while AOPI showed that the extracts protected HEPG2 cells from hydrogen peroxide induced-toxicity. Based on the findings, it is likely that EBN bioactives are released from their matrix when digested in the gut and then absorbed through the gut by passive-mediated transport to exert their functional effects. However, there is need to confirm these findings using in vivo systems to determine their clinical significance.
... The nest is always mixed with feathers and twigs. EBN harvester will have to do some intensive processing and cleaning works before it can be packaged and introduced to the customers in the shape of a bowl (Wong 2013;Jong et al. 2013). ...
... However, only few of them are edible. The Collocalia, Aerodramus, and Hydrochous are the three main geniuses of swiftlets that produce edible bird's nest (Wong 2013). Aerodramus fuciphagus produces white nest, Aerodramus maximus produces black nest; both are the two highly exploited species of Aerodramus and the most widely identified swiftlets in Malaysia. ...
... Aerodramus fuciphagus produces white nest, Aerodramus maximus produces black nest; both are the two highly exploited species of Aerodramus and the most widely identified swiftlets in Malaysia. Aerodramus fuciphagus is the most valuable type; it contains about 70-90% mucous secretion with small percentages of feathers and insects that feed on the nest (Wong 2013;Chua et al. 2016). The highest quality of white nest attracts the commercial interest of the EBN industry. ...
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t Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the key causes of deaths and disabilities worldwide. TBI progresses in two phases. The primary phase of injury is the direct result of the physical damage caused by the external force applied to the brain while the secondary injury takes place minutes to days after the primary injury. The secondary phase of TBI is marked by a series of pathological events that start following the initial mechanical impact. The mechanisms underlying TBI pathogenesis in the secondary phase are intricate and include metabolic alterations, excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, and neuroinflammation, among others; all culminating in neuronal cell damage and death. Currently, there is no FDA-licensed drug that targets TBI. Hence, the search for novel therapeutic agents that can target one or more of the mechanisms underlying the pathology of the secondary phase of TBI is warranted. Such novel therapeutic agents are expected to ameliorate the adverse consequences of TBI
... According to the Chinese Compendium of Materia Media, consumption of EBN associates with a wide range of health benefits such as improving asthmatic condition, boosting up immune system, preventing stomach illness, as well as restoring stamina (Wong, 2013). In the past decades, numerous studies reported that after soaking, the water soluble extract of EBN not only possessed epidermal growth factor (Kong et al., 1987), but also inhibited influenza virus infection (Guo et al., 2006), attenuated oxidative stress in vitro (Kim et al., 2012;Yew, Koh, Chye, Othman, & Ng, 2014) as well as exhibited mitogenic effect on human peripheral blood monocytes and adipose-derived stem cells (Matsukawa et al., 2011;Ng, Chan, & Kong, 1986). ...
... Thus, during gastric digestion, the mucin fragments released from EBN and into the stomach might help to promote gastric health by protecting the stomach from ulcer and bacterial infection. Interestingly, as reported in the Chinese Compendium of Materia Media, preventing stomach illness is one of the health-promoting effects after EBN consumption (Wong, 2013). Fig. 3A shows a MALDI TOF/TOF mass spectrum of a 50 kDa peptide resulted from the SDS-PAGE separation with further trypsin digestion. ...
... In addition, EGF-like domain on selectin was required for maturation of human immature dendritic cells (Zhou et al., 2006). Thus, as previously reported in the Chinese Compendium of Materia Media (Wong, 2013), vWF and EGF fragments released from EBN during gastric digestion might assist in immuno-modulation. Furthermore, peptides with high similarities to the amino acid sequences of carbonic anhydrase 9 and proline-rich protein were identified in the EBN digesta after simulated gastric digestion (Table 1). ...
... Edible bird's nest is a salivary secretion created by swiftlets. There are three main types of swiftlets genera known to produce EBN: Collocalia, Aerodramus, and Hydrochous (36). During the nesting and breeding season, the sublingual gland of swiftlets increases in weight and reaches their maximum secretory activity (37,38). ...
... Swiftlets, the insectivorous birds, build its nest with secretions from their specialized salivary glands. Only ∼70-90% of the nest involves mucus production, with feathers and nest-feeding insects rounding out the nest composition (36,37). The nests are built over a duration of 35 days. ...
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Cognitive enhancement is defined as the augmentation of the mind's core capabilities through the improvement of internal or external information processing systems. Recently, the focus has shifted to the potential therapeutic effects of natural products in improving cognitive function. Edible bird's nest (EBN) is a natural food substance derived from the saliva of swiftlets. Until today, EBN is regarded as a high-priced nutritious food with therapeutic effects. The effectiveness of dietary EBN supplementation to enhance brain development in mammals has been documented. Although the neuroprotection of EBN has been previously reported, however, the impact of EBN on learning and memory control and its potential as a cognitive enhancer drug remains unknown. Thus, this article aims to address the neuroprotective benefits of EBN and its potential effect as a cognitive enhancer. Notably, the current challenges and the future study direction in EBN have been demonstrated.
... EBN has been considered a precious food tonic by Chinese people ever since the Tang dynasty (618 AD) [14], and its usage in present times is principally based on historical and observational results of its beneficial effects including antiaging and immune-enhancing properties [15]. More recent scientific evidence suggests that EBN is both nutritionally and functionally rich [16][17][18]. Its components include lactoferrin, sialic acid, ovotransferrin, minerals, and amino acids including essential amino acids, such as lysine, tyrosine, and serine [16,17,19]. ...
... Therefore, although estrogen can improve learning and memory deficits of OVX rats, its effects on liver enzymes and kidney function are unwanted. Furthermore, EBN is known to possess multiple bioactive compounds that synergistically contribute to its bioactivity [16][17][18]. Moreover, we have demonstrated previously that the two major components of EBN (lactoferrin and ovotransferrin) could not account for the entire antioxidant effects of EBN [19] suggesting that the presence of other compounds may enhance the overall effects of EBN. ...
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Menopause causes cognitive and memory dysfunction due to impaired neuronal plasticity in the hippocampus. Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) downregulation in the hippocampus is implicated in the underlying molecular mechanism. Edible bird’s nest (EBN) is traditionally used to improve general wellbeing, and in this study, we evaluated its effects on SIRT1 expression in the hippocampus and implications on ovariectomy-induced memory and cognitive decline in rats. Ovariectomized female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed with normal pellet alone or normal pellet + EBN (6, 3, or 1.5%), compared with estrogen therapy (0.2 mg/kg/day). After 12 weeks of intervention, Morris water maze (four-day trial and one probe trial) was conducted, and serum estrogen levels, toxicity markers (alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, urea, and creatinine), and hippocampal SIRT1 immunohistochemistry were estimated after sacrifice. The results indicated that EBN and estrogen enhanced spatial learning and memory and increased serum estrogen and hippocampal SIRT1 expression. In addition, the EBN groups did not show as much toxicity to the liver as the estrogen group. The data suggested that EBN treatment for 12 weeks could improve cognition and memory in ovariectomized female rats and may be an effective alternative to estrogen therapy for menopause-induced aging-related memory loss.
... There is a great amount of research taking place on the investigation of the hidden nutritive and pharmacological properties of EBN. Some of the reviews were focused on the authentication and identification methods of EBN, its bioactive components and food values (Lin et al., 2006;Wong, 2013;Lee et al., 2018). However, none of the reviewers have discussed the latest challenges facing by the researchers in EBN research field, such as the important substrates that contribute to the medicinal properties in EBN. ...
... Besides, EBN is traditionally believed to raise libido, fortify the immune system, promote growth, improve concentration, increase energy and metabolism, and regulate circulation (Bashir et al., 2017). Although the efficacy of EBN extracts in maintaining youthfulness and increasing physical strength have yet to be tested, but there is scientific evidence on EBN supplementation indicating that it could improve skin texture and alleviate the aging processes (Wong, 2013;Hwang et al., 2020). Based on these studies, EBN consumption may promote the human health. ...
Article
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Edible Bird’s Nest (EBN) is the most prized health delicacy among the Chinese population in the world. Although some scientific characterization and its bioactivities have been studied and researched, no lights have been shed on its actual composition or mechanism. The aim of this review paper is to address the advances of EBN as a therapeutic animal bioproduct, challenges and future perspectives of research involving EBN. The methodology of this review primarily involved a thorough search from the literature undertaken on Web of Science (WoS) using the keyword “edible bird nest”. Other information were obtained from the field/market in Malaysia, one of the largest EBN-producing countries. This article collects and describes the publications related to EBN and its therapeutic with diverse functional values. EBN extracts display anti-aging effects, inhibition of influenza virus infection, alternative traditional medicine in athletes and cancer patients, corneal wound healing effects, stimulation of proliferation of human adipose-derived stem cells, potentiate of mitogenic response, epidermal growth factor-like activities, enhancement of bone strength and dermal thickness, eye care, neuroprotective and antioxidant effects. In-depth literature study based on scientific findings were carried out on EBN and its properties. More importantly, the future direction of EBN in research and development as health-promoting ingredients in food and the potential treatment of certain diseases have been outlined.
... The reason for the colour differences is unknown and further investigation should be emphasizing. Wong (2013) suggested several hypotheses on this particular issue. The suggested hypotheses are; the red colouration was caused by the presence of swiftlets blood due to exhausted of nest construction activity. ...
... Previously, certain approaches, including physical evaluation and proteomic profiling were implemented. Researchers identified some advanced techniques, namely electronic microscopy, X-ray microanalysis, immunochemistry, gel electrophoresis, chromatography and also spectroscopy for adulterants detection in EBN (Hamzah et al., 2013;Wong, 2013). Difference sources of literature reviews stimulate dissimilar methods with the methods has its advantages and disadvantages. ...
Article
Edible bird's nest (EBN)is a traditional Chinese cuisine that attracts numerous attentions at the local point of view extending to worldwide level. Huge demand from EBN enables it to secure name labels among different types of other foodstuffs, which were found to be rich with carbohydrate, protein and amino acid. Today, EBN has been used as ingredients in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. Malaysia is the world's third largest supplier of EBN after Thailand and Indonesia. Therefore, the government included certain initiatives in order to comply with several laws and standards as fundamental guidelines. Currently, contemporary EBN issues are becoming a pandemic in this industry and create chaos for consumers and operators. The issues include adulterations, banning, integrity of halal and haram, allergic reactions and heavy metal intoxication. The researchers identified several approaches in order to detect and authenticate EBN using advanced technologies and high-end instrumentations. The approaches were improved by certain chemometric analysis, which produces convincing and reliable data. Current situation and future views of EBN are also discussed in the study.
... [6] The EBN was proven scientifically to possess high medicinal benefits in enhancing complexion, strengthening immune system [11] , stimulating epidermal growth [7] , depressing the production of TNF-α [12] , inhibiting viral infection [13] , improving respiratory and digestive problems. [14][15][16] Incorporating EBN into food products can improve the variety, quality, taste, and availability of the EBN products for consumption. The EBN bioactive components were tested safe for consumption. ...
Article
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Edible bird’s nest (EBN), the swiftlet’s nest, has been consumed for centuries as a tonic or health food. The information upon the usage and benefits of the EBN are largely based on historical and observational reports since its discovery, until some were proven scientifically at recent times. Studies have been conducted on the major components of the EBN, i.e. glycoprotein, in attempts to elucidate the roles of the glycoprotein in terms of functionality toward health improvement. This article presents a review of the physicochemical and nutritional composition of EBN from different harvested locations and its functional properties. The conversion of EBN glycoproteins to glycopeptides via suitable hydrolysis methods to produce bioactive EBN glycopeptides was demonstrated, and it showed improvements in the functionality and nutritional values of EBN. Some applications of EBN glycopeptides into the new development of food and beverage products showed positive results, implicated to the bioavailability of the EBN glycopeptides. The combined information in this review will benefit the scientific communities, EBN manufacturers, and nutraceutical industries.
... The nutrient contents of the bird nest makes it one of the best food product to be consumed by human for greater health. It is proven that it has the ability to improve human immune system and provides Anti-aging effect [3]. Since then bird nest production has been one of the major industry in Southeast Asia. ...
Article
Edible bird nest food product is one of the demanding food product in food production industry. Government looking into ways to improve this industry to boost the economy. Many large scale production are being operated around Malaysia. One of the major difficulties faced in processing the bird nest is to remove its impurities or more formerly known as dirt. Current conventional cleaning method which is manual cleaning is not cost effective and time consuming. Furthermore, it also requires large number of workforce to be used for processing small quantities of bird nest. This paper presents an automated system which utilizes machine vision system and an industrial robot to accomplish a better processing system for edible bird nest. This system offers great advantage compared to conventional process by reducing the time consumed for processing and increase the efficiency.
... 其羽绒混合凝结于悬崖峭壁上的窝. 自唐朝燕 窝就被中国人用作抗衰老、增强免疫力之补 品 [5][6][7] , 并且现在还被西方人评为"东方鱼子 酱" [8] . 但是燕窝的使用依然沿袭着传统方法 而缺少科学实验的支持. ...
... Although the consumption of EBN is referred in centuries old Chinese literature, there is limited scientifi c documentation on the benefi ts of EBN. Wong [57] conducted a review of the recent in vitro and in vivo evidence-based discoveries, but the subtopics of the review are very limited. To our knowledge, none of the EBN studies have been based on clinical investigation. ...
Article
Edible bird's nest (EBN) is currently widely consumed by the Chinese community as tonic food and functional food, which is believed to have many medicinal benefits. Some studies have reported the biochemical compositions of EBN, graded on the basis of colour, nitrate and nitrite contents. Other studies have shown significant biological effects, while ongoing research is in progress to explore potential pharmacological applications. The high demand for EBNs in the global market has forced the local regulatory bodies to monitor swiftlet farming activities, including the EBN cleaning process. Furthermore, numerous techniques have been developed to authenticate EBN; proteomics is likely to be the most promising of these methods. However, there are limited numbers of relevant protein sequences deposited at the database. More research is needed at the molecular level to explore the mechanisms behind the biological functions, such as bone strength improvement, skin rejuvenation, epidermal growth factor activity and cell proliferation. The current and future prospects of EBN and swiftlet farming are critically reviewed in this article.
... EBN is especially valued by the Chinese as a quintessential food for its reputed health benefits, and has been documented in scientific publications since the last century. 1 Cleaned EBN, retailing for a few thousand US dollars per kg, has sometimes been referred to as the "Caviar of the East", but it has neither a relationship to, nor the appearance of fish eggs. The trade in EBN is estimated to be worth a few billion US dollars annually, with a large market, particularly in China. ...
Article
http://www.spectroscopyeurope.com/article/raman-microspectroscopy-rapid-technique-authenticate-edible-bird’s-nest—-glycoprotein
... It has been demonstrated to beneficially affect neural health and intelligence development. Sialic acid, one of the main nutrients from EBN, has been reported to constitute 9% total dry matter [18]. In the former research, Yu-Qin et al. [19] conducted the detection of several neuraminic acids (N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, Nacetyl-D-glucosamine, and N-acetylneuraminate) and confirmed that they are the main components for sialic acid from genuine EBN. ...
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Although human brains continue developing throughout the underage developmental stages, the infancy period is considered the most important one for the whole life. It has been reported that sialic acid from edible bird’s nest (EBN) can facilitate the development of brain and intelligence. In this study, by oral administration of EBN to female mice during the pregnancy or lactation period, the effects of EBN on the levels of sialic acid in mouse milk were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Furthermore, the spatial learning performances of their offspring were assessed using the Morris water maze test. Additionally, cerebral malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in cubs nursed by the female mice given the EBN homogenate were examined, while BDNF immunohistochemical staining and neuron count in hippocampi were investigated as well. These results showed that administration with EBN in maternal mice during pregnancy or lactation period can improve the learning and memory functions in their offspring, possibly by increasing the activities of SOD and ChAT and, at the meantime, decreasing the levels of MDA and activities of AChE. Moreover, BDNF levels for CA1, CA2, and CA3 regions in hippocampi and the numbers of dyed neurons in CA1, CA2, CA3, and DG regions among the offspring were significantly enhanced due to the intake of EBN by the maternal mice. We concluded that maternal administration of EBN during the pregnancy and lactation periods can improve the spatial learning performances in the offspring.
... This quality encompasses not only the authenticity and chemical composition of the bird's nest products but also its cleanliness. [1][2][3] Cleanliness in this context refers to a condition of EBN that is free from any impurities or matter that is either foreign to the essence of EBN, such as bird feathers and droppings, or otherwise unfit for human consumption. 4,5 Therefore, the cleanliness of EBN, together with its authenticity and chemical composition, affects the grade, price, and market acceptance of the EBN. ...
Article
The production of edible bird's nest (EBN) is an important income-generating agricultural activity in Malaysia. However, cleanliness inspection during EBN production poses certain difficulties due to issues such as labor dependency, human error, and inconsistency. Automated inspection remains a challenging task as there is no effective algorithm for impurities segmentation. Impurities, such as feathers, have similar color properties as EBN, making segmentation difficult due to the low contrast between the two features. We propose and demonstrate an experimental design-based lighting solution for improving the contrast ratio between the impurities and EBN in a scientific and systematic way. Lighting parameters, such as the configuration, angle, wavelength, and intensity of lighting, are investigated using a full factorial experimental design. The contrast ratio between the impurities and the EBN is chosen as the response variable in the experimental design. The main effects plot of the lighting parameters is obtained to identify the most optimal lighting parameters. The optimal lighting setup yields an improvement of 36.2%, with a contrast ratio of 0.79, compared to the normal fluorescent lighting setup, which has a contrast ratio of 0.58. This improvement would produce distinct intensity regions for impurities and EBN within an EBN image, therefore facilitating the segmentation operation.
... [1] It is widely believed that EBN consumption brings various health benefits. [2] Following the advancement in food analysis technologies, researchers attempted to analyze the variant composition of EBN from various geographical origins, species origins and production origins to gain clearer understandings on the EBN to prevent adulteration and fraud substitution. ...
Article
This work investigated the polar (PC: protein, amino acid and metabolite) and non‐polar (NPC: fatty acid) compounds and bioactivity characteristics of the EBN harvested from the state of Johor in Malaysia. The electrophoretic gels exhibited 15 protein bands (16‐173 kD) with unique protein profile. Amino acids analysis by AccQ•Tag method revealed 18 types of amino acids in EBN. Metabolite profiling was performed using High‐Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled with Quadrupole Time‐of‐Flight Mass Spectrometer (HPLC‐QTOF/MS) technique and a total of 54 compounds belonging to different groups were detected and identified. These findings help to uncover the relation of therapeutic activity of EBN. The EBN was further extracted with EtOAC and n‐BuOH. The EtOAc extract was fractionated into 3 fractions (F1‐F3), and the high triglyceride content in F2 was verified by GC‐FID. The three groups of fatty acids discovered in EBN are 48.43% of poly‐unsaturated (PUFA), 25.35% of saturated fatty acids (SFA) and 24.74% of mono‐unsaturated fat (MUFA). These results were first to report EBN n‐BuOH and EtOAc extracts and fraction F2 (TEBN) were analyzed for their antioxidant activity by the DPPH, ABTS and catalase assay and for their paraoxanase and anti‐tyrosinase activities. The results showed that TEBN exhibited the significant bioactivity determination in all assays. These findings suggest that TEBN is a good source for natural bioactive compounds in promoting body vigour. Current work widened the content of EBN especially on the triglyceride and also marked the content of specific location (Johor, Malaysia) of EBN origin.
... Among these species, EBNs from A. fuciphagus are generally much preferred in the market as they are relatively clean, and seldom contaminated by feathers or bird droppings (Chua & Zukefli, 2016). According to the Chinese Compendium of Materia Medica, EBNs are associated with a wide range of health benefits, including improving asthmatic condition, boosting immune system, preventing stomach illness, as well as restoring stamina (Wong, 2013). As the consumption of EBNs is thought to be beneficial to human health, they have been consumed as a traditional Chinese tonic food and delicacy for centuries. ...
Article
Only a few species of swiftlets in the Aerodramus and Collocalia genera can produce edible bird's nests (EBN). These saliva-cemented nests have been consumed as delicacies for centuries in Asia. Many researches have reported the aqueous extract of EBN has epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) activity. However, no standalone EGF has been identified in EBN. Moreover, proteome of EBN remained unclear due to lack of genomic data base of an EBN-producing swiftlet to support proteomic analysis of EBN. To address this, the first genome of the EBN-producing swiftlet, Aerodramus fuciphagus, was constructed. Orthology comparison of A. fuciphagus with 10 other avian species were conducted. The results revealed that the number of predicted paralogous coiled-coil domain-containing protein 63 (CCDC63) coding sequences (CDSs) in A. fuciphagus was found to be significantly expanded in comparison to Gallus gallus. There were 3 paralogous CCDC63 genes in the genome of A.fuciphagus. The CDSs predicted from the genome of A. fuciphagus were used to construct a database for proteomic analysis of EBN. In total, 398 proteins have been identified in EBN. The proteome of EBN was significant enriched with extracellular proteins as well as proteins related to extracellular matrix (ECM) organization and immune response. A few proteins with Ca²⁺-binding EGF-like domains were found in the proteome of EBN, like fibrillin-1, protocadherin fat 4 and coagulation factor X. No standalone EGF protein was identified. This indicated that the proteins with EGF-like domains might be responsible for the EGF-like activity of EBN. In addition, acidic mammalian chitinase and lysyl oxidase in EBN were found to be active when extracting with distilled water at room temperature. The current study has not just revealed the species-specific genotype of the EBN-producing swiftlet, A. fuciphagus, but also revealed the proteome of EBN. This established an important foundation for subsequently studies on efficacies of EBN.
... [6] The EBN was proven scientifically to possess high medicinal benefits in enhancing complexion, strengthening immune system [11] , stimulating epidermal growth [7] , depressing the production of TNF-α [12] , inhibiting viral infection [13] , improving respiratory and digestive problems. [14][15][16] Incorporating EBN into food products can improve the variety, quality, taste, and availability of the EBN products for consumption. The EBN bioactive components were tested safe for consumption. ...
... Edible-nest swiftlets is an edible birds nest (EBN), which contains protein, amino acids, and minerals (Jamaluddin et al. 2019;Zulkifli et al. 2019). Edible-nest swiftlets are beneficial to improve the human immune system and slow the aging process (Ma and Liu 2012;Wong 2013;Chan et al. 2015;Zhang et al. 2015;Chua and Zukefli 2016;Careena et al. 2018;Babji and Daud 2019;Daud et al. 2019). Meanwhile, under normal consumption of EBN glycoproteins, the undigested compounds of EBN glycopeptides can carry a prebiotic effect in the intestinal environment. ...
Article
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Edible-nest swiftlets have many health benefits. The availability of edible-nest swiftlets from caves is decreasing, while the demand for edible-nest swiftlets is getting higher. Swiftlet farming is carried out to meet this demand. The location of swiftlet farming should be close to the feeding sources. Swiftlet is flying insectivorous animals. A financial feasibility assessment is carried out to determine the feasibility of the business. This study aims to determine the composition of land cover, determine the insect order of feed sources, and analyze the production and financial feasibility of swiftlet farming. The study was carried out from June to December 2019. The composition of land cover was determined using the supervised classification method, the order of insects was known using the insect determination key, while production and financial feasibility were analyzed using the Net B/C, NPV, IRR, and PP methods. The observed location and swiftlet farming were determined purposefully. The results of this study show that the land cover was dominated by shrubs (56.58%) and secondary forest (27.3%); both types of land cover are suitable for swiftlet farming locations. The dominant insects found in shrubs and wetland shrubs are Diptera (78.25%), in rice fields are Diptera (86.7%) and in oil palm plantations are Diptera (29.4%) and Hymenoptera (27.78%). Edible-nest swiftlets harvest begins in the third year, with a production period of between 17-34 years. From the financial feasibility, it can be concluded that swiftlet farming is feasible.
... Today, the majority of EBN is produced by domesticated swiftlets in specialized houses from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand. According to historical literatures in Chinese medicine, EBN was recorded to prevent lung diseases, to reduce aging and to improve complexion (Wong, 2013). In line with the historical records, several lines of evidence have suggested the functions of EBN in improving immune response (Zhao et al., 2016), encouraging cell regeneration (Roh et al., 2012), promoting anti-oxidation (Ghassem et al., 2017) and facilitating skin whitening (Chan et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Edible bird’s nest (EBN) has been consumed as a Chinese delicacy for hundreds of years; the functions of which have been proposed to prevent lung disease, strengthen immune response, and restore skin youthfulness. To support the skin function of EBN, the water extract and the enzymatic digest of EBN with enriched digested peptides were tested in cultured keratinocyte, HaCaT cell line. The effects of EBN extract and digest in inducing proteins crucial for skin moisturizing were determined in both in vitro and ex vivo models. In cultured keratinocytes, the expressions of S100-fused type proteins contributing to skin barrier function in the stratum corneum, e.g. filaggrin and filaggrin-2, were determined in both mRNA and protein levels, which were markedly induced in the treatment of EBN extract or digest. The EBN-induced gene transcriptions of filaggrin and filaggrin-2 were mediated by activation of p38 MAPK pathway and various transcription factors, e.g. GATA3, PPARα, PPARβ, and PPARγ: these transcriptional factors were markedly activated by the digested products of EBN, as compared to the extract, in cultured keratinocytes. By using atomic force microscopy (AFM), the EBN-treated keratinocyte was shown to have more liquid-like morphology, as compared to a control cell. The EBN digest showed better induction on these moisturizing effects as compared to the extract. These lines of evidence therefore suggested the water moisturizing effect of EBN in skin function.
... Interestingly, the swiftlet from Aerodramus and Collocalia families build their nest with its own glutinous translucent filament strand of saliva (1). The nest made from the saliva of swiftlet is thought to be a food tonic delicacy and it has been eaten for its recuperative effects since the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.) in China (2)(3)(4). Therefore, these nests produced from Aerodramus and Collocalia swiftlets are regarded as "Edible Bird's Nest" (EBN). ...
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Background: Edible Bird's Nest (EBN) is famously consumed as a food tonic for its high nutritional values with numerous recuperative and therapeutic properties. EBN is majority exploited from swiftlet houses but the differences in terms of metabolite distribution between the production site of house EBN is not yet fully understood. Therefore, this study was designed to identify the metabolite distribution and to determine the relationship pattern for the metabolite distribution of house EBNs from different locations in Malaysia. Methods: The differences of metabolite distribution in house EBN were studied by collecting the samples from 13 states in Malaysia. An extraction method of eHMG was acquired to extract the metabolites of EBN and was subjected to non-targeted metabolite profiling via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Unsupervised multivariate analysis and Venn diagram were used to explore the relationship pattern among the house EBNs in Malaysia. The geographical distribution surrounded the swiftlet house was investigated to understand its influences on the metabolite distribution. Results: The hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA) combined with correlation coefficient revealed the differences between the house EBNs in Malaysia with four main clusters formation. The metabolites distribution among these clusters was unique with their varied combination of geographical distribution. Cluster 1 grouped EBNs from Selangor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu which geographically distributed with major oil palm field in township; Cluster 2 included Perak and Sarawak with high distribution of oil palm in higher altitude; Cluster 3 included Perlis, Kelantan, Kedah, Penang from lowland of paddy field in village mostly and Cluster 4 grouped Sabah, Pahang, Johor which are majorly distributed with undeveloped hills. The metabolites which drove each cluster formation have happened in a group instead of individual key metabolite. The major metabolites that characterised Cluster 1 were fatty acids, while the rest of the clusters were peptides and secondary metabolites. Conclusion: The metabolite profiling conducted in this study was able to discriminate the Malaysian house EBNs based on metabolites distribution. The factor that most inferences the differences of house EBNs were the geographical distribution, in which geographical distribution affects the distribution of insect and the diet of swiftlet.
... EBN is a product of the salivary secretions of swiftlet birds (Aerodramus fuciphagus) found in Malaysia and other South East Asia countries. EBN is a well-known valued product among the Chinese and has been consumed for centuries due its medicinal and nutritional properties (Wong, 2013), which include anti-aging (Hu et al., Seminal plasma is a compound mix of proteins and other substances. The effect of SP on the cryo-survival of spermatozoa cells is quietly debatable: some researchers claim positive effects, whereas others have seen adverse effects (Al-Essawe et al., 2018a). ...
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of adding different concentrations of edible bird’s nest (EBN) which is secreted by swiftlet birds (Aerodramus fuciphagus), into EquiPlus® and E-Z Mixin® extenders on the quality of chilled Arabian stallion semen at various storage times (0, 24 and 48 h). Ten ejaculates were collected from five stallions, and diluted using the two extenders containing 0% (control), 0.12%, 0.24% and 0.24% of EBN + seminal plasma (SP). All the diluted semen samples were then cooled and stored at 5 °C, and examined at 0, 24 and 48 h. Sperm kinetic parameters were assessed using computer assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and viability were assessed using Hoechst33342/PI stain. In both extenders, total motility (TM) and progressive motility (PM) were significantly higher at 0.12% and 0.24% compared to 0.24% + SP at 24 and 48 h. At 0.12%, E-Z mixin® treated semen had significantly higher TM and PM than EquiPlus® at 24 and 48 h. At 0.12% and 0.24%, average path velocity (VAP), straight-line velocity (VSL) and curvilinear velocity (VCL) were significantly higher in E-Z mixin® treated semen compared to EquiPlus® at 24 and 48 h. Comparisons between the two extender types at different concentrations of EBN showed no significant difference in lateral head amplitude (ALH), linearity (LIN), straightness (STR), beat cross frequency (BCF) and viability, irrespective of the storage time. The percentage of viable was significantly higher in E-Z mixin® than EquiPlus® at 0 and 48 h in control and 0.12%. Supplementation of the E-Z mixin® extender with 0.12% and 0.24% EBN concentrations in the absence of SP provided better CASA parameters such as TM, PM, VAP, VSL, and VCL at 24 and 48 h storage time. In conclusion, the results of this study indicated that chilled semen from Arabian stallion that was extended using E-Z mixin® and supplemented with 0.12% and 0.24% EBN concentrations performed better and yielded superior results in sperm kinetic parameters and % viable compared to EquiPlus® at 24 and 48 h storage time
... EBN has been regarded as traditional Chinese medicine by the practitioners in Qing dynasty due to its recuperative properties [1,6]. The recuperative properties of EBN are highlighted with the effect of boosting immune system, treating malnutrition, improving metabolism, enhancing skin complexion and alleviating asthma, helping in phlegm clearance, relieving cough, nourishing children, libido raising, enhancing renal function, recovery from illness and surgery, as well as improving concentration [7]. Recently, EBN is further demonstrated for its properties on suppressing the virus, inflammation and oxidative stress, strengthening bone, eye caring, and neuroprotective properties [8][9][10][11][12][13][14]. ...
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Background and Aim: Edible bird's nest (EBN) is the nutrient-rich salivary bioproduct produced by swiftlets in Southeast Asia. Currently, researchers are exploring the therapeutic effects of EBN, such as cell growth promotion, antioxidant content, antiviral effects, bone strengthening, eyes care, and neuroprotection bioactivities. The therapeutic effects of EBN have been studied through different extraction methods but the metabolites profile of the EBN in each extract has not yet been elucidated. This study aimed to profile the water-soluble metabolites of EBN prepared in different extraction methods. Subsequently, an extraction method will be selected as an ideal extraction method for untargeted metabolite profiling on the water-soluble metabolites in EBN. Materials and Methods: In this study, water-soluble metabolites of EBN extracted by the four extraction methods were subjected to metabolite profiling through liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The extraction methods were acid extraction(ABN), pancreatic extraction (EzBN), eHMG extraction, and spray drying of HMG extraction (pHMG). The metabolite profiles, such as the number of metabolites and their identities in each extraction method, were evaluated through LC-MS analysis. Results: The identity of metabolites present in the four extraction methods is inconsistent. Based on LC-MS analysis, only one and six metabolites were extracted differently through EzBN and ABN, respectively, in the first pre-screening. Through the second LC-MS screening on pHMG and eHMG extraction methods, eHMG was selected as an ideal extraction method due to the highest numbers of water-soluble metabolites with an amount of 193 was detected. Besides, eHMG extraction method was able to extract sialic acid and a high percentage of secondary metabolites. Conclusion: This study suggests that eHMG is the ideal extraction method for extracting higher number of water-soluble metabolites from EBN and could be further developed as an extraction method for industry application. In addition, this study also has identified the types of primary and secondary metabolites present in EBN.
... As a matter of fact, the literature is rich in studies that have reported the pharmacological effects of EBN, including those related to neuroprotection [18,[20][21][22][23][24][25][26], and several reviews have outlined the pharmacological properties of EBN in several health conditions [27][28][29][30]. To the best of our knowledge, the literature lacks a systematic review on the neuroprotective activity of EBN. ...
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Edible bird’s nest (EBN) is constructed from saliva of swiftlets birds and consumed largely by Southeast and East Asians for its nutritional value and anti-aging properties. Although the neuroprotection of EBN in animals has been reported, there has not been yet systemically summarized. Thus, this review systemically outlined the evidence of the neuroprotective activity of EBN in modulating the cognitive functions of either healthy or with induced-cognitive dysfunction animals as compared to placebos. The related records from 2010 to 2020 were retrieved from PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and ScienceDirect using pre-specified keywords. The relevant records to the effect of EBN on cognition were selected according to the eligibility criteria and these studies underwent appraisal for the risk of bias. EBN improved the cognitive functions of induced-cognitive dysfunction and enhanced the cognitive performance of healthy animals as well as attenuated the neuroinflammations and neuro-oxidative stress in the hippocampus of these animals. Malaysian EBN could improve the cognitive functions of experimental animals as a treatment in induced cognitive dysfunction, a nutritional cognitive-enhancing agent in offspring and a prophylactic conservative effect on cognition against exposure to subsequent noxious cerebral accidents in a dose-depended manner through attenuating neuroinflammation and neuro-oxidative stress. This systemic review did not proceed meta-analysis.
... It causes the inaccuracy in quantify of the polymer. Based on the literature study, protein is the main component that plays an important role in regulating some metabolism or pathway which contribute to the therapeutic effects (Abidin et al., 2011;Chua et al., 2015;Chua et al., 2013;Chua & Zukefli, 2016;Wong, 2013). Amino acids are the building block of protein, and these compounds can be a promising indicator for the classification of EBN (Chua et al., 2015;Quek et al., 2018). ...
Article
Edible Bird’s Nest (EBN) has been used as a health modulator for many centuries. Nutrient degradation in EBN always happen during cleaning process due to many factors such as temperature and long soaking time in water. The present study attempts to find the difference between unclean and cleaned EBN in their amino acid composition. A total of 65 EBN samples were collected directly from swiftlet premises in 13 states of Malaysia to ensure the coverage of geographical location differences. A standardized cleaning method had been adapted from the industry to clean the collected EBN sample in the lab. Then it was analysed for amino acids composition. After that OPLS-DA multivariate model was used to discriminate the unclean and cleaned EBN on 18 types of amino acids composition. The model was robust with classification and predictive ability of 76.1% and 64.5%, respectively. The model was further validated with sample blind test and 100% of the sample was accurately fall into their respective cluster, unclean and cleaned EBN. The findings suggest that three major amino acids with the highest VIP value were Aspartic acid, Methionine and Glutamic acid and proposed as the marker for discriminating the unclean and cleaned EBN.
... EBN is made up of solidified saliva of edible-nest swiftlets which are found in Southeast Asia and which usually build their nests on high inaccessible places such as cave walls [1]. The grading and pricing of EBN are significantly dependent on its authenticity, chemical composition and cleanliness [2][3][4]. While authenticity and chemical composition cannot be judged without dedicated equipment, cleanliness becomes one of the determinative factors for market acceptance. ...
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The cleanliness of edible bird’s nest (EBN) is among the determinative factors for market acceptance. As it is meant for human consumption, EBN should be free of any impurities or matter which are foreign to it, such as bird feathers, egg fragments and droppings. However, natural variations in composition, density and thickness impose inconsistency to the level of translucency and colour of EBN, resulting in intensity inhomogeneity in EBN images that substantially reduce the accuracy of the segmentation and detection of impurities. Consequently, the segmentation and detection of impurities, which are essential to visual automation in the cleaning and inspection processes, remain unsolved. This work proposes a novel optical segmentation method to segment impurities from the EBN, in order to facilitate the detection of impurities. EBN images captured under two different lighting scenarios, namely, low-angle blue-diffused lighting and red-diffused backlighting, were used to prepare the fused image for background-EBN-impurities segmentation. The applicability of the method was demonstrated by comparing the detection results with those of human inspectors. With a simple thresholding operation performed on fused images, the impurities detection algorithm recorded a true positive/recall rate of 93.39%, a precision of 71.17% and a false-negative detection rate of 4.8%. Despite the high misclassification rate of 32.25%, the algorithm was able to detect more than 93% of the impurities, compared to human inspectors, who required a second examination on the EBNs.
... Edible bird nest (EBN) produced from the saliva of edible nest swiftlets (Aerodramus fuciphagus) which are commonly found in the South-East Asia countries including Malaysia. EBN has been reported worldwide as an effective health supplementation and food product as well as beauty enhancer (Hao & Rahman, 2016;Wong, 2013). The major nutrient components in the nest are glycoproteins, carbohydrates, and essential trace elements such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, and iron (Norhayati, Azman, & Wan Nazaimoon, 2010). ...
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Introduction: Edible bird nest (EBN) is a natural food product produced from edible nest swiftlet's saliva which consists of glycoproteins as one of its main components; these glycoproteins contain an abundant of sialic acid. The dietary EBN supplementation has been reported to enhance brain functions in mammals and that the bioactivities and nutritional value of EBN are important during periods of rapid brain growth particularly for preterm infant. However, the effects of EBN in maternal on multigeneration learning and memory function still remain unclear. Thus, the present study aimed to determine the effects of maternal EBN supplementation on learning and memory function of their first (F1)- and second (F2)-generation mice. Methods: CJ57BL/6 breeder F0 mice were fed with EBN (10 mg/kg) from different sources. After 6 weeks of diet supplementations, the F0 animals were bred to produce F1 and F2 animals. At 6 weeks of age, the F1 and F2 animals were tested for spatial recognition memory using a Y-maze test. The sialic acid content from EBN and brain gene expression were analyzed using HPLC and PCR, respectively. Results: All EBN samples contained glycoprotein with high level of sialic acid. Dietary EBN supplementation also showed an upregulation of GNE, ST8SiaIV, SLC17A5, and BDNF mRNA associated with an improvement in Y-maze cognitive performance in both generations of animal. Qualitatively, the densities of synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic terminal were higher in the F1 and F2 animals which might derive from maternal EBN supplementation. Conclusion: This study provided a solid foundation toward the growing research on nutritional intervention from dietary EBN supplementation on cognitive and neurological development in the generation of mammals.
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Edible bird's nest (EBN) is a well-known and precious traditional Chinese herbal material (CHM). Because of this, preventing the adulteration of EBN efficiently and precisely is crucial to protect consumers’ interests and health. In this study, a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was developed for the detection of EBN using specifically designed LAMP primers. The results demonstrated that the identification of EBN by LAMP assay was specific and rapid (within 1 h). It had no cross-reaction with EBN adulterants, including white fungus, egg white and pig skin, in different ratios. The relative detection limit was 0.01% EBN in the adulterants. Moreover, the sensitivity of LAMP in authenticating EBN was 10⁻⁸ μg, it showed higher sensitivity than that of conventional PCR with 10⁵ fold. When genomic DNAs extracted from boiled or steamed EBN samples were used as templates, LAMP for EBN detection was not affected and was reproducible after heat processing. In conclusion, the LAMP assay established herein could be applicable for authenticating EBN and for identifying commercial EBN products in herbal markets.
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Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus are common microbial contaminants within the homology of medicine and food that can cause serious food poisoning. This study describes a highly efficient, sensitive, specific, and simple multiplex real‐time quantitative PCR (mRT‐qPCR) method for the simultaneous detection of viable Salmonella spp., E. coli, and S. aureus. Primers and probes were designed for the amplification of the target genes invA, uidA, and nuc. Dead bacterial genetic material was excluded by propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment, facilitating the detection of only viable bacteria. This method was capable of detecting Salmonella spp., E. coli, and S. aureus at 102, 102, and 101 CFU/ml, respectively, in pure culture. PMA combined with mRT‐qPCR can reliably distinguish between dead and viable bacteria with recovery rates from 95.7% to 105.6%. This PMA‐mRT‐qPCR technique is a highly sensitive and specific method for the simultaneous detection of three pathogens within the homology of medicine and food. This study established an efficient, sensitive, specific, and simple multiplex real‐time quantitative PCR (mRT‐qPCR) method for the simultaneous detection of viable Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus in bird's nest, donkey‐hide gelatin, and wolfberry. This method was capable of detecting Salmonella spp., E. coli, and S. aureus at 102, 102, and 101 CFU/ml, respectively, in pure culture. And, the PMA combined with mRT‐qPCR can reliably distinguish between dead and viable bacteria with recovery rates from 95.7% to 105.6%. This study describes a highly efficient, sensitive, specific, and simple multiplex real‐time quantitative PCR (mRT‐qPCR) method for the simultaneous detection of viable Salmonella spp., E. coli, and S. aureus.
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Edible bird nest (EBN) production is a major industry in South East Asia, motivated by the perception that consumption of this delicacy can help improve the human immune system while slowing down the aging process. However, processing the raw EBN requires a tremendous amount of human effort, making it a very labour-intensive process. The most critical part of this process is the cleaning of the EBN and this is also the most labour intensive and time consuming. Impurities in each sample have to be painstakingly identified and then removed from the rest of the nest. This paper proposed a method to detect the impurities in edible bird nest using K-Means segmentation to help improve the effectiveness of the conventional cleaning process by accurately identifying the impurities of various shapes and sizes. The accuracy of the proposed method has been compared with Fuzzy C-Means.
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Edible bird's nest (EBN) is an expensive animal bioproduct due to its reputation as a food and delicacy with diverse medicinal properties. One kilogram of EBN costs ~$6000 in China. EBN and its products are consumed in mostly Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, making up almost 1/3 of world population. The rapid growth in EBN consumption has led to a big rise in the trade scale of its global market. Presently, various fake materials such as tremella fungus, pork skin, karaya gum, fish swimming bladder, jelly, agar, monosodium glutamate and egg white are used to adulterate EBNs for earning extra profits. Adulterated or fake EBN may be hazardous to the consumers. Thus, it is necessary to identify of the adulterants. Several sophisticated techniques based on genetics, immunochemistry, spectroscopy, chromatography and gel electrophoresis have been used for the detection of various types of adulterants in EBN. This article describes the recent advances in the authentication methods for EBN. Different genetic, immunochemical, spectroscopic and analytical methods such as genetics (DNA) based techniques, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, Fourier transform infrared and Raman spectroscopic techniques, and chromatographic and gel electrophoretic methods have been discussed. Besides, significance of the reported methods that might pertain them to applications in EBN industry has been described. Finally, efforts have been made to discuss the challenges and future perspectives of the authentication methods for EBN.
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Edible bird's nest (EBN) swiftlet existed naturally 48,000 years ago in caves as their natural dwellings. Nowadays, edible bird's nest has become a very important industry due to its high nutritional, medicinal and economic value. Additionally, edible bird's nest has a long quality guarantee period. Obviously, the nutritional components and medicinal functions vary depending on geographical origins. Recently, the global demand for edible bird's nest has markedly increased, accompanied by the increasing attention of all key players of the global food trade system, i.e., producers, consumers, traders and the authorities to obtain safe and high-quality edible bird's nest. Hence, this target can be accomplished via the enforcement of an efficient and universal geo-tracing technique. Current methods of the geo-tracking of edible bird's nest, i.e., automation, physical and analytical techniques have several limitations and all of them fail to discriminate different quality grades of edible bird's nest. Meanwhile, in many studies and applications, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) has proven to be a “cutting edge” technique for greatly enhance food traceability from field to fork through its ability in distinguishing the food products in terms of their quality and safety. This article provides an overview of (1) edible bird's nest as a multiuse strategic food product, (2) quality issues associated with edible bird’s nest including implications that the site of acquisition of the edible bird’s nest has food safety implications, (3) current regulations and geo-tracking approaches to ensure the safety and quality of edible bird’s nest with the special focus on polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis technique as a vigorous and universal geo-tracing tool to be suggested for edible bird's nest geo-traceability.
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The increasing demands for edible bird's nests (EBNs) have remarkably increased their price. Presently, several fake materials are being adulterated into EBNs for the purpose of earning extra profits. In order to identify the adulterants and authenticate EBN, efforts were made to investigate and compare the protein and amino acid profiles of cave and house EBNs with white fungus, jelly, fish swimming bladder and egg white. The protein profiling indicated 10 bands for cave nests with two strong bands at 30 and 35 kDa. House nest proteins consisted of 9 bands with major bands at 120 and 140 kDa. White fungus displayed three dim bands at 22, 35 and 75 kDa whereas egg white was found to contain two predominant bands at 35 and 75 kDa. Fish swimming bladder showed substantial streaking of protein bands after dilution whereas the protein profile of jelly did not present any band. The amino acid analysis revealed that EBN consisted of 17 types of amino acids. The major amino acids in cave and house nests were aspartic acid, arginine, histidine & leucine, and aspartic acid, glutamic acid, histidine & leucine, respectively. White fungus consisted of 16 types of amino acids in concentrations lower than that in EBN samples. Fish swimming bladder was rich in 6 amino acids. Egg white contained 16 types of amino acids with aspartic acid, glutamic acid, leucine and lysine in major quantities. However, jelly was found to contain no amino acids at all. Both the analytical procedures provided finger print profiles of the protein and amino acid compositions of the cave and house nests distinct from the adulterants. These results taken together can be used for the identification and authentication of any of these fake materials in EBN.
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Edible bird’s nest (E-BN) or “Caviar of the East” is a premium and expensive cuisine well-known for the Chinese. It is saliva secreted from two specific swiftlets (Aerodramus maximus and Aerodramus fuciphagus). Two types of E-BN, namely house nests, and cave nests, are abundant in the South-East Asia region. The constituents, especially nitrate and nitrite, can be varied, depending on habitat, or feed available, etc. Protein (e.g., glycoprotein) is the major component of E-BN, followed by carbohydrates. Sialic acid is another essential constituent related to health promotion. E-BN is commonly utilized for the manufacturing of beverages or instant soup. E-BN in other forms such as capsules can serve as a supplement in the future due to its health promoting impact. In addition, the selected technology for quality improvement of E-BN especially from broken nests or flakes or other co-products is still required, while maintaining the eating quality to meet consumer’s demand. Thus, E-BN can be fully exploited and is still considered a valuable bird’s product with health benefits.
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Background Edible swiftlet's nest (ESN) is dried gelatinized saliva secreted by swiftlets during the breeding season. The ESN has been widely consumed as a food and medicine since the ancient dynasty of China, particularly in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As a food with health-promoting effects, this made ESN a potential functional food. Whereby, functional food is food that can be consumed in the daily diet which then enhanced human health through nutritional aspect, but not as the cure of a disease. Scope and approach In this review, we discussed ESN as a potential functional food through the bioactive nutritional components and health benefits of ESN in promoting good health. Scientific evidence has proven that ESN consists of the unique glycoprotein of great value which provides high nutritional and functional properties for human health benefits. These include anti-ageing, anti-hypertension, immunity and neurological enhancement contributed by not only the unique glycoprotein but also sialic acid, epidermal growth factor (EGF) and other bioactive compounds. Key findings and conclusions The ESN appeared to be categorized as a functional food, with various functionality, applications, nutritional composition and therapeutic benefits committed by its components. This review also pronounces recent development of ESN as hydrolysate in the form of bioactive glycopeptide with improvements in terms of solubility, functional and nutritional benefits that broaden its applications in various industries.
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The human colonic adenocarcinoma cell line (Caco-2 cells) and a macrophage cell line (RAW 264.7 cells) are widely used in vitro model to study the intestinal system and Tumor Necrosis Factor- alpha (TNF-α) release in cells, respectively. The objectives of this study were to assess the proliferative effect of EBN on Caco-2 cells and its effect on TNF-α release in RAW cells. The percentage of cell proliferation when treated with 2 commercial EBN, brand Y1 and brand X1, were 84% and 115% respectively, while when treated with unprocessed EBN from East Coast, North and South Zones were 91%, 35% and 47% respectively. Several EBN from specific zones (brand Y1, South and East Coast Zones) significantly affect the TNF-α production in RAW cells, where it was reduced to 43%, 24% and 32% respectively. Results showed that depending on the source and type of EBN used, there were differences in the percentages of proliferation of Caco-2 cells. EBN is able to influence the production of anti-inflammatory TNF-α in RAW cells.
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The swiftlets (genera Aerodramus, Collocalia and Hydrochous) are unusual among birds in that many species can orientate in complete darkness using echolocation. The position of the Papuan Swiftlet Aerodramus papuensis in this group has been uncertain historically, in part due to morphological differences between it and other swiftlets (it has three toes instead of the usual four) and a lack of data on its behaviour (there is uncertainty about whether it echolocates). Here we investigate the phylogenetic affinities of the Papuan Swiftlet using DNA sequence data from two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome b and ND2. We present evidence that it is able to echolocate but, unlike previously studied species that use echolocation primarily while flying in caves, A. papuensis uses this ability while active outside caves at night. We also provide new evidence for placement of the monotypic Waterfall Swiftlet Hydrochous gigas, a species that does not echolocate. Our data provide strong support for a basal relationship between A. papuensis and other Aerodramus taxa and suggest that this species and H. gigas are sister taxa, a relationship that would indicate paraphyly of the genus Aerodramus. Our phylogeny provides new insights into how echolocation has evolved in the swiftlets, in particular by indicating higher levels of homoplasy in this trait than was previously thought.
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Due to the value of their nests, there is great pressure on the populations of black-nest swiftlets (Collocalia maximus) and white-nest swiftlets (Collocalia fuciphagus) in the Malaysian provinces of Sarawak and Sabah. The problems are particularly acute at Gunung Mulu National Park, in spite of a complete ban on collection there, and at Niah National Park, where every participant in a complex collection and trading system has an incentive to take more nests than permitted. More successful harvest systems function in Sabah''s Gomantong and Madai Caves. Recommendations for improved management of the nest harvest include addressing corruption, ensuring that local people with traditional rights to collect nests do not lose income to illegal immigrant labor and to traders, improving research and education about the swiftlets'' behavior and ecology, and moving value-added processing of the nests closer to the caves where they originate and to the people who collect them.
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Malaysian edible bird's nests (EBN) are from the swiflet species, Aerodromus fuciphagus. The objective of this study was to determine and compare the nutrient composition of EBN obtained from different parts of Peninsular Malaysia, collected at three different harvesting seasons, to four commercial brands. A total of 18 raw, unprocessed EBN samples from the North, South and East Coast zones of Peninsular Malaysia and duplicate samples of 4 commercial brands (processed) of EBN samples were analysed. The protein and mineral contents of unprocessed EBN samples between zones and harvesting seasons were comparable. Mean (± SEM) protein content of unprocessed EBN was 61.5 ± 0.6 g/100g and the top four minerals detected were calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium with mean (± SEM) concentration of 553.1 ± 19.5 mg/100g, 187.9 ± 10.4 mg/100g, 92.9 ± 2.0 mg/100g and 6.3 ± 0.4 mg/100g respectively. Sialic acid content ranged between 0.7 to 1.5%, and remained comparable between samples from different zones and harvesting seasons. The commercial brands were found to contain higher amounts of calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus compared to unprocessed EBN, warranting further investigation and verification with more samples. Since the nutrient contents of EBN may be affected by seasonal variations and even breeding sites, it is recommended that a more comprehensive study be conducted involving more samples and breeding sites as such data are important to ensure sustainability of the EBN industry in this country.
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Although edible bird's nest (EBN) has been shown to potentiate mitogenic responses, scientific evidence of its efficacy is still limited. In addition, human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) are increasingly accepted as a source for stem cell therapy. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the EBN extract (EBNE) on the proliferation of hADSCs and its action mechanisms. We found that EBNE strongly promoted the proliferation of hADSCs. In addition, EBNE-induced proliferation was found to be mediated through the production of IL-6 and VEGF, which was induced by activation of AP-1 and NF- κ B. Specially, we found that production of IL-6 and VEGF was induced by EBNE. In addition, EBNE-induced production of IL-6 and VEGF was inhibited by PD98059 (a p44/42 MAPK inhibitor), SB203580 (a p38 MAPK inhibitor), and PDTC (a NF- κ B inhibitor), but not SP600125 (a JNK inhibitor). Similarly, EBNE-induced proliferation of hADSCs was also attenuated by PD98059, SB203580, and PDTC but not SP600125. Taken together, these findings suggest that the EBNE-induced proliferation of hADSCs primarily occurs through increased expression of IL-6 and VEGF genes, which is mediated by the activation of NF- κ B and AP-1 through p44/42 MAPK and p38 MAPK.
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There has been no effective treatment or agent that is available for corneal injury in promoting corneal wound healing. Previous studies on edible bird's nest extract (EBN) had reported the presence of hormone-like substance; avian epidermal growth factor that could stimulate cell division and enhance regeneration. This study aimed to investigate the effects of EBN on corneal keratocytes proliferative capacity and phenotypical changes. Corneal keratocytes from six New Zealand White Rabbits were isolated and cultured until Passage 1. The proliferative effects of EBN on corneal keratocytes were determined by MTT assay in serum-containing medium (FDS) and serum-free medium (FD). Keratocytes phenotypical changes were morphologically assessed and gene expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), collagen type 1 and lumican were determined through RT-PCR. The highest cell proliferation was observed when both media were supplemented with 0.05% and 0.1% EBN. Cell proliferation was also consistently higher in FDS compared to FD. Both phase contrast micrographs and gene expression analysis confirmed the corneal keratocytes retained their phenotypes with the addition of EBN. These results suggested that low concentration of EBN could synergistically induce cell proliferation, especially in serum-containing medium. This could be a novel breakthrough as both cell proliferation and functional maintenance are important during corneal wound healing. The in vitro test is considered as a crucial first step for nutri-pharmaceutical formation of EBN-based eye drops before in vivo application.
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Oral administration of edible bird's nest extract (EBNE) improved bone strength and calcium concentration in the femur of ovariectomized rats. Dermal thickness was also increased by EBNE supplementation, whereas EBNE administration did not affect the serum estradiol concentration. These results suggest that EBNE is effective for the improvement of bone loss and skin aging in postmenopause all women.
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Studies have suggested that nitrates, nitrites, and nitrosamines have an etiologic role in adverse pregnancy outcomes and chronic diseases such as cancer. Although an extensive body of literature exists on estimates of these compounds in foods, the extant data varies in quality, quantified estimates, and relevance. We developed estimates of nitrates, nitrites, and nitrosamines for food items listed in the Short Willet Food Frequency Questionnaire (WFFQ) as adapted for use in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Multiple reference databases were searched for published literature reflecting nitrate, nitrite, and nitrosamine values in foods. Relevant published literature was reviewed; only publications reporting results for items listed on the WFFQ were selected for inclusion. The references selected were prioritized according to relevance to the U.S. population. Based on our estimates, vegetable products contain the highest levels of nitrate, contributing as much as 189 mg/serving. Meat and bean products contain the highest levels of nitrites with values up to 1.84 mg/serving. Alcohol, meat and dairy products contain the highest values of nitrosamines with a maximum value of 0.531 microg/serving. The estimates of dietary nitrates, nitrites, and nitrosamines generated in this study are based on the published values currently available. To our knowledge, these are the only estimates specifically designed for use with the adapted WFFQ and generated to represent food items available to the U.S. population. The estimates provided may be useful in other research studies, specifically in those exploring the relation between exposure to these compounds in foods and adverse health outcomes.
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Adequate nutrition plays an important role in bone mass accrual and maintenance and has been demonstrated as a significant tool for the prevention of fractures in individuals with osteoporosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate bone health-related nutrients intake and its association with osteoporotic fractures in a representative sample of 2344 individuals aged 40 years or older in Brazil. In a transversal population-based study, a total of 2420 individuals over 40 years old were evaluated from March to April 2006. Participants were men and women from all socio-economic classes and education levels living around the Brazilian territory Individuals responded a questionnaire including self reported fractures as well a 24-hour food recall. Nutrient intakes were evaluated by Nutrition Data System for Research software (NDSR, University of Minnesota, 2007). Low trauma fracture was defined as that resulting of a fall from standing height or less. Nutrient intakes adequacies were performed by using the DRI's proposed values. Statistical analysis comprises Oneway ANCOVA adjusted by age and use of nutritional supplements and multiple logistic regression. SAS software was used for statistical analysis. Fractures was reported by 13% of men and 15% of women. Women with fractures presented significantly higher calcium, phosphorus and magnesium intakes. However, in all regions and socio-economical levels mean intakes of bone related nutrients were below the recommended levels. It was demonstrated that for every 100 mg/phosphorus increase the risk of fractures by 9% (OR 1.09; IC95% 1.05-1.13, p < 0.001). The results demonstrated inadequacies in bone related nutrients in our population as well that an increase in phosphorus intake is related to bone fractures.
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In multiracial and multicultural Singapore, patients are exposed to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) from both eastern and western cultures. Although studies have shown that CAM usage is highly prevalent among cancer patients, no study on the prevalence of CAM in Singaporean adult cancer patients had been published. 403 adult cancer patients treated at the Ambulatory Treatment Unit of National Cancer Centre Singapore completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Median age of patients was 56 years old (range 22-84). Fifty-six percent of patients reported CAM usage and the most commonly used CAM include Traditional Chinese Medicine, bird's nest and special diet. CAM use was found to be associated with race, education level and prior CAM use before cancer diagnosis. Fifty-four percent of respondents informed their oncologists regarding CAM usage and 66.4% of oncologists were agreeable for CAM usage. However, most patients (63%) did not verify information on CAM before usage and a majority of patients taking CAM felt it was effective. Majority of adult cancer patients used CAM and it is important for health-care professionals to keep abreast of research on CAM, to actively illicit information regarding usage and to provide appropriate advice and counseling.
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Swiftlets are small insectivorous birds, many of which nest in caves and are known to echolocate. Due to a lack of distinguishing morphological characters, the taxonomy of swiftlets is primarily based on the presence or absence of echolocating ability, together with nest characters. To test the reliability of these behavioral characters, we constructed an independent phylogeny using cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA sequences from swiftlets and their relatives. This phylogeny is broadly consistent with the higher classification of swifts but does not support the monophyly of swiftlets. Echolocating swiftlets (Aerodramus) and the nonecholocating "giant swiftlet" (Hydrochous gigas) group together, but the remaining nonecholocating swiftlets belonging to Collocalia are not sister taxa to these swiftlets. While echolocation may be a synapomorphy of Aerodramus (perhaps secondarily lost in Hydrochous), no character of Aerodramus nests showed a statistically significant fit to the molecular phylogeny, indicating that nest characters are not phylogenetically reliable in this group.
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Despite their wide occurrence, proteoglycans (PGs) have never been isolated from the saliva of higher animals. We found that the Collocalia glycoproteins isolated from edible birds'-nests (the dried forms of regurgitated saliva of male Collocalia swiftlets) were rich in a PG containing nonsulfated chondroitin glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). We have devised a method to isolate a PG from the water extract of the white nest built by Aerodramus fuciphagus (white nest swiftlets) with a yield of 2-mg PG per gram nest. This PG contained 83% of carbohydrates, of which 79% were GalNAc and GlcUA (D-glucuronic acid) in an equimolar ratio. By using chondroitin AC lyase, the structure of GAGs in this PG was established to be chondroitin ( --> 4GlcUAbeta1 --> 3GalNAcbeta1 --> )(n) chains. The average molecular mass of the chondroitin chain was estimated to be 49 kDa by gel filtration. We have isolated a linkage region hexasaccharide, DeltaHexUAalpha1 --> 3GalNAcbeta1 --> 4GlcUAbeta1 --> 3Galbeta1 --> 3Galbeta1 --> 4Xyl, from this PG by chondroitinase ABC digestion to show that the GAGs in this PG are also linked to the core protein through the common tetrasaccharide linker, GlcUAbeta1 --> 3Galbeta1 --> 3Galbeta1 --> 4Xyl, found in various PGs. As water was not effective in extracting uronic acid-containing glycoconjugates from the black nest built by black nest swiftlets (A. maximus), we used 4 M guanidium chloride and anion-exchange chromatography in the presence of urea to extract and isolate about 30 mg of a chondroitin PG preparation from 10 g of the desialylated black nest. As the biological significance of chondroitin is still not well understood, bird's nest should become a convenient source for preparing this unique GAG to study its biological functions.
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Edible bird’s nest (EBN) is a functional food constructed with swiftlets’ salivary glue. Counterfeit EBN products have been found in the market due to limited supply and high price of genuine EBN. In this article, a method for genetic identification of EBN was developed. The technique is based on sequence of cytochrome b gene in mitochondrial DNA. The sample sequences together with the sequences of swiftlets in GenBank were used to construct phylogenetic trees for genetic identification of samples. This method was applied to 11 EBN samples, one instant EBN soup product from Indonesia, and Huaiji EBN, a counterfeit EBN in some regions of China. Results showed that all the EBN samples and the instant EBN soup were from Aerodramus fuciphagus while the Huaiji EBN sample was from Apus nipalensis. This was consistent with identification based on morphology of the samples. Therefore, this method is a promising tool to identify the species of bird producing a given sample of EBN, and thus could be used to authenticate—that is, distinguish authentic from counterfeit—EBN.
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It has been established in the recent several decades that adult stem cells play a crucial role in tissue renewal and regeneration. Adult stem cells locate in certain organs can differentiate into functional entities such as macrophages and bone cells. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are two of the most important populations of adult stem cells. The application of these stem cells offers a new insight in treating various pathological conditions, through replenishing cells of specific functions by turning on or off the differentiating program within quiescent stem cell niches. Apart from that, they are also capable to travel through the circulation, migrate to injury sites and differentiate to enhance regeneration process. Recently, Chinese medicine (CM) has shown to be potential candidates to activate adult stem cells for tissue regeneration. This review summarizes our own, as well as others' findings concerning the use of Chinese herbal medicine in the regulation processes of adult stem cells differentiation and their movement in tissue repair and rejuvenation. A number of Chinese herbs are used as therapeutic agents and presumably preventive agents on metabolic disorders. In our opinion, the activation of adult stem cells self-regeneration not only provides a novel way to repair tissue damage, but also reduces the use of targeted drug that adversely altering the normal metabolism of human subjects.
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Ethnopharmacological relevance: Red edible bird's nests are regarded as of higher beneficial value for health and hence fetch a higher price than the white ones. Their red colour remains a myth. Aim of the study: To determine if white edible bird's nests can turn red by vapours generated from sodium nitrite in acidic conditions and by vapours from 'bird soil'. Materials and methods: White edible bird's nests were exposed to vapours from sodium nitrite dissolved in 2% HCl or from 'bird soil' in hot and humid conditions. Conclusions: Vapours from sodium nitrite dissolved in 2% HCl or from 'bird soil' containing guano droppings from swiftlet houses were able to turn white edible bird's nests red. The reddening agent in 'bird soil' was water-soluble and heat-stable. The red colour of edible bird's nests is likely caused by the environmental factors in cave interiors and swiftlet houses.
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Edible bird's nest (EBN) as a special kind of food tonic has been highly esteemed in Chinese cuisine and medicinal culture. Particularly with the discovery of its healthy function by modern science, consumption of EBN food gained greater popularity within Chinese community and outside. Authentication of this precious and expensive food material became an urgent task facing the increasing occurrence of adulteration in the market. Herein we reported the combination of DNA based PCR and protein based two dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DGE) methods for rapid and reliable identification of genuine EBN product. Fourteen EBN samples from different countries were studied. PCR method was proved to be able to differentiate EBN and the other biological materials and it could detect EBN ingredient from 0.5% EBN/Tremella fungus mixture. 2DGE method was proved to be feasible and versatile in EBN identification because of the simple and unique protein pattern of EBN. The method could detect 10% Tremella fungus from EBN.
Article
A few species of swiflets (genus Aerodramus) build edible nests that are consumed by humans worldwide, as a delicacy known as the “Caviar of the East” or as a medicinal food. This study reports on the compositional properties of two types of nest, the white nest and the red “blood” nest. The order of composition (from lowest to highest) was found to be identical for both types of nests, i.e., lipid (0.14–1.28%), ash (2.1%), carbohydrate (25.62–27.26%) and protein (62–63%). It was also found that both nests share a common 77 KDa protein that has properties similar to those of the ovotransferrin protein in eggs. This protein may be partially responsible for the severe allergic reactions that sometimes occur among young children who consume edible bird’s nest products. It was found that SDS–PAGE electrophoretic fingerprinting might serve as a useful analytical technique for differentiating between white and red nests and for determining if the more expensive “blood” nest was adulterated with the less expensive white nest. Also evaluated were different analytical methodologies for detecting adulterants. Three of the most common adulterants found in retail bird’s nests are karaya gum, red seaweed, and tremella fungus, and they are routinely incorporated during commercial processing prior to final sale. Using crude protein determination, it was found that these adulterants (which typically accounted for 2–10% of the finished nest), reduce the overall crude protein content of the genuine white bird’s nest by as much as 1.1–6.2%. A modified xanthoproteic nitric acid test for proteins proved to be a rapid, and simple test to detect adulteration in both whole and finely ground nests, and would be suitable in the field where analytical facilities are not readily available.
1. An epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like activity was detected and partially purified from swiftlet's nest extract. 2. The partially purified EGF-like activity was able to (a) generate competitive binding curves parallel to the standard curves in radioreceptor assay and (b) stimulate thymidine incorporation in quiescent culture of 3T3 fibroblasts and the latter activity can be suppressed by mouse EGF antibody. 3. Partial characterization of the EGF-like activity in terms of pI, molecular weight and its behavior on gel filtration column suggest that it bears similar physical properties to the EGFs isolated from the mouse and the shrew.
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Nutritional supplements used by athletes can be classified as sports food, dietary supplements and ergogenic aids. The aim of this study was to examine the use of such supplements among university athletes in Singapore. 82 athletes from 16 sport disciplines completed a questionnaire which sought information on demographical parameters, type of supplements, frequency of use, motivations, knowledge, expenditure and side effects. The prevalence of supplement use was 76.8 percent and 20 different products were used. Each individual consumed a mean and standard deviation of 3.18 +/- 1.7 products over a 12-month period. The mean number of products consumed daily was 2.1 +/- 1.2. Popular products included sports drinks, vitamin C, multivitamins and traditional/herbal preparations such as essence of chicken, bird's nest and ginseng. Before using a product, 65.9 percent sought information, usually from the media, the Internet, coaches and fellow athletes. However, many did not know where to obtain reliable information and 86.4 percent were also unaware that supplementation can have adverse effects. Although there is a high prevalence of supplement use in our study population, many do not have accurate information about these products. Hence, there is an urgent need to provide athletes with education and access to scientific and unbiased information.
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The edible bird's nest extract from Collocalia spp. was found to contain a glycoprotein which could potentiate mitogenic response of human peripheral blood monocytes to stimulation with Concanavalin A or Phytohemagglutinin A. The potentiating effect of the extract was most marked at suboptimal mitogenic concentrations of these lectins, decreasing the 50% optimal concentration of Con A and PHA by 6- and 2.5- folds respectively. The potentiating effect was exerted early during the first 10 hours following stimulation with Con A. This potentiation activity was not dialysable, but it was stable to limited digestion with trypsin, alkaline pH and extraction with ether.
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Quantitative analyses were made of carbohydrates and amino acids in Collocalia mucoid. The glycoprotein contains about 9% sialic acid, 7.2% galactosamine, 5.3% glucosamine, 16.9% galactose, and 0.7% fucose. The sialic acid is probably N-acetyl-4-O-acetylneuraminic acid. The most abundant amino acids are serine, threonine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, proline, and valine.
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A specific gas chromatographic (GC) detection method for edible bird's nest (EBN) based on identifying the composition of the oligosaccharide chain combined with glycoprotein in EBN is developed. Five monoses (D-mannitose, D-galactose, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, and N-acetyl neuraminate) that constitute the oligosaccharide chain are detected using GC and GC-mass spectrometry techniques; their characteristic GC spectrum can reliably be regarded as EBN's fingerprint. The peak-area ratios in GC spectrum of those five monoses are found to be fixed; therefore, the GC technique developed in this work can conveniently be used to determine various raw EBNs and their products both qualitatively and quantitatively, distinguishing between fake and genuine EBN rapidly.
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Various amino acids, their analogues and vitamins have shown stimulatory as well as inhibitory effects on laccase production by Cyathus bulleri. DL-methionine, DL-tryptophan, glycine and DL-valine stimulated laccase production, while L-cysteine monohydrochloride completely inhibited the enzyme production. Among vitamins tested biotin, riboflavin and pyridoxine hydrochloride were found to induce laccase production.
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The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a transmembrane glycoprotein that constitutes one of four members of the erbB family of tyrosine kinase receptors. Binding of EGFR to its cognate ligands leads to autophosphorylation of receptor tyrosine kinase and subsequent activation of signal transduction pathways that are involved in regulating cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Although present in normal cells, EGFR is overexpressed in a variety of tumor cell lines and has been associated with poor prognosis and decreased survival. EGFR activation also plays a role in resistance to chemotherapy and radiation treatment in tumor cells. Over the past two decades, much effort has been directed at developing anticancer agents that can interfere with EGFR activity. The most common pharmacologic approaches to inhibiting EGFR have been to develop monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule inhibitors. Monoclonal antibodies block ligand binding to the extracellular domain, whereas the small-molecule inhibitors exert their effects at the intracellular portion of the receptor to prevent tyrosine kinase phosphorylation and subsequent activation of signal transduction pathways. A number of EGFR inhibitors have been developed that can arrest tumor growth and, in some cases, cause tumor regression. When used in combination with cytotoxic treatments, chemotherapy, and radiation, EGFR inhibitors have been able to potentiate their anticancer activity.
Article
Issues on empirical dietary restriction or supplementation are important but inadequately studied in children with atopic eczema (AE). The dietary habits of children with AE followed at a paediatric dermatology clinic (n = 179) were compared with those without eczema (n = 78). The mothers of 53% of the patients with or without eczema did not breastfeed their children. Common food items avoided by parents whose children have moderate-to-severe AE included fish or seafood [64% vs. 32% of controls, odds ratio (OR) 3.84, 95% CI 2.12-6.95], beef (42% vs. 17%; OR = 3.57, 95% CI 1.79-7.11), eggs (34% vs. 14%; OR = 3.05, 95% CI 1.46-6.34) and cows' milk (18% vs. 4%; OR = 5.56, 95% CI 1.61-19.12); whereas their avoidance was less frequent in children with noneczematous diseases. The avoidance of these foods were often based on belief, but 66% of all AE patients who had avoided any of the above foods reported previous experience of eczema exacerbation by these items. Patients with moderate-to-severe AE were more likely to have consumed 'bird's nest' soup and traditional Chinese medicines. It is important to evaluate whether the AE patients are genuinely 'allergic' to some of these food items. Management is suboptimal if children with food allergy and severe disease continue to consume the culprit food. Conversely, avoidance of common foods in children without food allergy could result in food faddism or malnutrition.
Article
Edible bird's nest (EBN) is the nest of the swift that is made from its saliva. Although EBN has been widely used for enhancing immunocompetence, its antiviral efficacy has not been studied in detail. We found that EBN extract could strongly inhibit infection with influenza viruses in a host range-independent manner when it was hydrolyzed with Pancreatin F. Western blotting assay showed that the EBN extract bound to influenza virus. Furthermore, EBN extract could neutralize the infection of MDCK cells with influenza viruses and inhibit hemagglutination of influenza viruses to erythrocytes, but it could not inhibit the activity of influenza virus sialidase. Fluorometric HPLC indicated that the major molecular species of sialic acid in EBN is N-acetylneuraminic acid. The results suggest that EBN is a safe and valid natural source for the prevention of influenza viruses.
Article
To study the feasibility of using stereoscopy in identification on Edible Bird's Nest (EBN). Characteristics of white EBN pieces, red EBN, white fungus pieces and EBN painted with colloid were observed under stereoscopy. EBN pieces could be distinguished from white fungus pieces under stereoscope. The former is semitransparent and has more fine cracks; the latter is opaque and without fine cracks. EBN painted with colloid can be distinguished under stereoscopy too. The characteristics include: (1) the surface lines were not clear; (2) feathers were plastered on the surface. Stereoscopy can be used in identification of EBN, especially in general investigation of commercials.
Article
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is garnering increasing interest and acceptance among the general population. Although usage is thought to be widespread among paediatric cancer patients, local studies have not been done. We aimed to investigate the prevalence and predictors of CAM usage in paediatric cancer patients in a single institution. Parents of 73 paediatric cancer patients treated at KK Women's & Children's Hospital completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data about the types of CAM therapies used, motivations for use, adverse effects, costs and discussion of usage with the patient's physician were obtained. General perceptions towards CAM and conventional medicine were explored. A subsequent telephone survey enquired about spirituality, benefits of CAM use and overall satisfaction with the therapies. Two-thirds of patients used at least 1 CAM treatment, mainly as supportive adjuncts to conventional cancer treatment. Dietary changes, health supplements, herbal tea and bird's nest were the most common therapies used. Few patients (8.1%) consulted a CAM practitioner. Positive predictors of CAM usage included being of Chinese race, the practice of Buddhism or Taoism, the use of CAM prior to diagnosis, perception of CAM effectiveness and dissatisfaction with conventional treatment. Significantly, 55.1% of the parents had not discussed their CAM usage with their child's physician. A substantial proportion of paediatric cancer patients utilises CAM therapies, often without their physician's knowledge. Healthcare providers need to remain cognisant of the potential implications of CAM usage in order to proactively counsel patients. This would ensure that conventional therapy remains uncompromised.
Article
The patient characteristics, clinical features and causative foods in 74 consecutive adult patients with immediate food hypersensitivity were studied. A retrospective review of 74 consecutive adults who presented during the study period from July 1, 1994 to April 30, 2002 was performed. There were 35 male and 39 female patients, with a mean age of 36.3 +/- 10.9 (range, 19-66) years. The most common causative foods were seafood crustaceans, molluscs and bird's nest. Prawn and crab were the most commonly implicated crustacean, and limpet the commonest culprit mollusc. The main symptoms were periorbital angioedema (64.9 percent), dyspnoea/wheezing (44.6 percent) and urticaria (44.6 percent). 66 percent of the patients developed anaphylaxis. 34 (45.9 percent) had concomitant allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, eczema or combinations of these atopic diseases. Only six (8.1 percent) patients had a family history of food allergy. Skin prick tests (SPT) to commercially-prepared food allergens were positive in 22 of 36 patients (61.1 percent) tested. SPT to the fresh, cooked or canned food products were positive in 11 of 20 (55 percent) cases where the food allergen was not commercially available. Open food challenges were required for diagnosis in two patients who had negative SPT. The most common food allergens in our patients were seafood crustaceans, molluscs and bird's nest. More than half of the patients had concomitant allergic rhinitis, asthma and/or eczema. The pattern of food allergy in Singapore differs from Caucasian populations, likely to be because of different regional dietary patterns and methods of food preparation.
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The effects of the Zhenzhu-Yanwo extracts on animal function
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Prevalence of nitrite (NO2) and nitrate (NO3) in edible bird’s nest harvested from swiftlet ranches in the state of Johor
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Evidence that epidermal growth factor is present in Swiflet’s (Collocalia) nest
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