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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2016, Vol. 14 ›› Issue (6): 415-428.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60282-0

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A comprehensive review of edible bird nests and swiftlet farming

Lee Suan Chuaa,b , Siti Najihah Zukefl ia,b   

  1. a Metabolites Profi ling Laboratory, Institute of Bioproduct Development, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,UTM Skudai, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia 
    b Department of Bioprocess and Polymer Engineering, Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering,Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Skudai, 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
  • Received:2016-07-26 Accepted:2016-08-15 Online:2016-11-15 Published:2016-11-15
  • Contact: Lee Suan Chua, PhD; E-mail:

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.

Key words: Edible bird’s nest, Swiftlet farming, Proteomics, Authentication, Aerodramus

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