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Title: Calcite deposits differentiate cave from house-farmed edible bird's nest as shown by SEM-EDX, ATR-FTIR and raman microspectroscopy
Authors: Shim, Eric Kian-Shiun
Lee, Soo-Ying
Keywords: Science::Chemistry
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Shim, E. K. & Lee, S. (2020). Calcite deposits differentiate cave from house-farmed edible bird's nest as shown by SEM-EDX, ATR-FTIR and raman microspectroscopy. Chemistry - An Asian Journal, 15(16), 2487-2492.
Journal: Chemistry - An Asian Journal
Abstract: The difference between the swiftlet white edible bird's nest from limestone caves versus house-farmed ones, especially in response to high temperature and stewing time in water where the latter type would disintegrate readily, has been a puzzle for a long time. We show that edible bird's nests from the limestone caves have calcite deposits on the surface of the nest cement as compared to the house-farmed nests which are built by swiftlets on timber planks. The micron and sub-micron calcite particles are seen in SEM-EDX and further characterized by ATR-FTIR and Raman microspectroscopy. The calcite deposits make it possible for the cave nest to retain a gelatinous texture under the harsh retort conditions at 121 °C for 20 mins in commercial bottling. We show that house-farmed nests can be soaked in CaCl2 (aq) followed by rinsing with Na2 CO3 (aq) to grow the same calcite deposits on the nest cement with the same characteristic as cave nests. Therefore, there should no longer be a need to harvest cave nests, and we can better conserve the dwindling population and natural habitats of cave swiftlets.
ISSN: 1861-4728
DOI: 10.1002/asia.202000520
Schools: School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences 
Rights: © 2020 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA,Weinheim. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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