Swallow nest is a popular trading name for swiftlet's edible nest, a tiny bird found throughout South East Asia. The bird is from Apodidae family of Collocalia genus (Scientific name is now changed into Aerodramus). Collocalia is one among the unique and precious tropical birds, lovely tiny bird with strong flying endurance. This kind is having flying insects for food, some are able to fly daytime for more than ten hours to search for food and use their sense of echolocation to determine its nesting, resting place in dark cavity. Their nest is constructed using their rich gel secretion, produced by a pair of salivary glands under their tongue, which harden when exposed to air. The most valued nest by the market came from these four species; Collocalia Fuchipaga (edible nest or white nest), Collocalia Maxima (feather nest or black nest), Collocalia Esculanta (grass nest) and Collocalia Vanikorensis (grass cave nest).
The swallow nest has a long history which derived back from the Tang Dynasty. Through observation and validation, the Chinese medical practitioner discovered that swallow nest have some enhancing effect on skin and lung. Due to its rarity and nutritional value, only the Emperor and family could consume these supreme delicacies. Since that era, swallow nest soup has become a part of Chinese tradition. Today, the Chinese still consume swallow nest as natural food to slow the aging process (refer to Epidermal Growth Factor), demulcent to the lung, relieving phlegm and coughs, and some purpose for yin effect to the human body. Current development in health science refers to some water-soluble glycoprotein found in swallow nest along with a complex protein composition that might influence medical properties in human body.
There are two kinds of swiftlets nesting locations, which are; the cave nest (wild) and man-made house nest (cultured). Fuchipaga cultured nest or house nest is the most common in the market today. It commenced more than half of the world's total output of swallow nest production. To learn more about swiftlet farm, you may visit www.swiftlethouse.com. Cave nest location is fixed and limited that resulted a limited place for production. Places such as Vietnam and East Borneo commence the highest price cave nest due to its quality. Most of the nests are come in white, while some are yellowish, orange or even red. Indonesia is the biggest swallow nest producer and exporter in the world which has been developing house nest culture since early 1960.