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Edible bird’s nest appearance: strands vs flakes


Edible bird’s nest appearance: strands vs flakes

You may be a frequent consumer of bird’s nest. However, have you come across bottles where the appearance of the edible bird’s nest might differ? Some bottles sold contain strands while other contains flakes. Let us teach you about the difference between them!

Bird’s nest strands

Bottles containing edible bird’s nest strands are more expensive than flakes. This is because strands are considered to be of higher quality than flakes. To understand why this is so, you will first have to know how the strands and flakes are produced. Bird’s nest strands come from the centre crux of each single raw bird’s nest.

bird's nest with beautiful strands picture

Looking at the above picture, you can see that raw bird’s nest are made up of wave like strands arranged together. It forms a semicircular shape, where the ends of the strands join up at the corner. Hence, when we say that the bottled bird’s nest is made up of strands, it refers to using mainly the centre portion of the bird’s nest.

Bird’s nest flakes

On the other hand, for bird’s nest flakes, it can come from any part of the raw bird’s nest. Usually, when manufacturing bottled bird’s nest, the flakes that are used come from both the outer portion and strands have already been broken.

Difference between strands and flakes

bird's nest strands vs flakes pic
Bird’s nest strands on the left, flakes on the right

So how does this difference affect the consumption? Firstly, bird’s nest strands will have better a taste and texture. Strands will have a smoother and softer texture, making it the most palatable. Secondly, edible bird’s nest strands will have a more aesthetic appearance in the bottle. Because strands come only from the centre portion of the raw bird’s nest, it will have a more consistent look. You will also notice that it has a more pure and brighter appearance.

Whereas for bird’s nest flakes, because it also contains the outer portion of the bird’s nest (which tends to be slightly more dull), it will not have the same consistent texture. The appearance in the bottle will also not be as neat when compared to bird’s nest strands.

Hence, if you would like to experience bird’s nest in its best form, we would recommend buying bottled bird’s nest made using bird’s nest strands.

Bird’s nest beverage?

In recent years, there have been gradual increase in popularity of “bird’s nest beverages”. This is where the bottle contains a tiny amount of bird’s nest flakes added in sugar water. Do note that while the bird’s nest added in such beverages may actually be real, however, because of the small quantity of bird’s nest added, you will not be able to enjoy the full health benefits and taste of real bird’s nest.


We hope you have a better understanding of the difference between edible bird’s nest strands and flakes. To summarise, bottled bird’s nest containing strands is of the highest quality. However, it is also pricier. On the other end of the spectrum, there is bird’s nest beverage which do not contain much bird’s nest at all. Hence it is not recommended to consumer bird’s nest beverage if you want the health benefits of bird’s nest. However, if you are on a budget and would still like to consume a sufficient amount of bird’s nest, you may consider bottled bird’s nest containing flakes.

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