An oligosaccharide marker for rapid authentication of edible bird's nest

Li Feng Li, Hui Yuan Cheng, Jun Lang, Tin Long Wong, Ji Xia Zhang, Wen Jie Wu, Quan Wei Zhang, Hau Yee Kong, Check Hei Lai, Hau Yee Fung, Man Liu, Wan Rong Bao, Chu Ying Huo, Hong Ming Zheng, Qiu Ke Hou, Su Ping Bai, Quan Bin Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Edible bird's nest (EBN) is a popular and expensive food material. The limited supply and great demand result in the use of adulterants. The authenticity concern is raised due to the lack of appropriate quality markers. Herein, this study aims to provide a specific oligosaccharide marker for rapid EBN authentication. Comparing the benzocaine (ABEE)-labeled saccharide profiles of multiple batches of EBN and adulterants indicates seven unique EBN oligosaccharides. The most abundant one, named BNM001, was selected as a marker and characterized to be Neu5Ac (2–3) Gal by MS and NMR spectra. This new oligosaccharide marker enables a rapid authentication of EBN within 10 min. ABEE labelling of this marker further upgraded the accuracy and sensitivity of the LC-qTOF-MS quantitative analysis. The relative marker content was associated with the quality of EBN products. These results suggest a specific and efficient quality marker for rapid authentication of EBN and related products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135334
Number of pages9
JournalFood Chemistry
Early online date30 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Authentication
  • Edible bird's nest
  • LC–MS
  • Oligosaccharide
  • Quality marker


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