Friday, October 28, 2011

Revisit Nitrite Issue

Recently, the issue of nitrite in bird nest has been widely dicussed by the bird nest industrialists in Malaysia. This issue has been dangling for about two months.

Since the burst of nitrite issue, the Malaysian bird nest industry has suffered great loss. In China, the retailers have taken down the product from the shelves. The relevant departments stop China people from consuming bird nest from Malaysia. The sales dropped by at least 80% since. As the export to China, the biggest consumer of bird nest has been stagnant, the bird nests in Malaysia has been turned to be stock with no cashflow.

The bird nest associations nationwide have urged the Ministry of Health to help resolve this issue. After all, bird nest industry has been marked as a flagship agricultural activity in the 10th Malaysia Plan. Its intention is to acquire 30% of the world wide bird nest market in the next 5 years. Currently, Malaysia has 13% of the bird nest market. If the nitrite issue were not resolved, the achivement of the market target will definitely be delayed.

The checking of nitrite content will be done at 3 stages i.e. (i) raw materials (ii) after cleaning and (ii) finished products like canned bird nest soup. Therefore, standards need to be set for each category.

Hopefully, when the Prime Minister and his team visit China in the beginning of November, he can show our standard and explain the rationale behind it to his China counterparts.

We do not expect the issue can be resolved overnight. At least efforts should be put in and resolve it the soonest possible.

Posted by Chai Yong of

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nitrite Issue - When will it be resolved?

There has been months since the nitrite issue arised in the bird nest industry.

The issue begun when there were plenty of complaints on the consumption of blood bird nest which gave rise to health problem and even miscarriage for the pregnant women.

The issue has been complicated when fake government officers were invited to explain the nitrite problem in Hangzhou. This was discovered by the China journalists.

Worse still, the CCTV broadcasted a documentary on blood bird nests nation wide. As a result, the China consumers are scared to purchase bird nest.

The China government has strengthened its rules on sales of bird nest. Only bird nest with proper documentation and nitrite content zero ppm are allowed to be sold. The sales of bird nest has dropped 70% to 80% since.

According the news, the Malaysian Health Ministry will resolve the nitrite issue with the China government. Most likely the Malaysian side will propose a nitrite content figure for the China government to consider and further negotiation will carry on from there.

Some laboratories in Malaysia can make the nitrite content zero, of course at an additional cost. This will increase the selling price of the bird nest.

To regain the consumer confidence will takes months even years in China.
Hopefully, the nitrite issue could be resolved as soon as possible.

Posted by Chai Yong of>