Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Edible Bird’s Nest Based on Peptide Markers by LC-QTOF-MS/MS

Wen Jie Wu, Li Feng Li, Hui Yuan Cheng, Hau Yee Fung, Hau Yee Kong, Tin Long Wong, Quan Wei Zhang, Man Liu, Wan Rong Bao, Chu Ying Huo, Quan Bin Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Edible bird’s nest (EBN) is an expensive health food. There are many adulterants in the market. It remains challenging to discriminate EBN from its adulterants due to a lack of high-specificity markers. Besides, the current markers are confined to soluble fraction of EBN. Here, both soluble and insoluble fractions were analyzed by LC-QTOF-MS/MS. A total of 26 high-specificity peptides that were specific to EBN were selected as qualitative authentication markers. Among them, 10 markers can discriminate EBN from common adulterants, 13 markers discriminate white EBN from grass EBN/common adulterants, and 3 markers discriminate grass EBN from white EBN/common adulterants. Three of them, which showed high signal abundance (Peak area ≥ 106) and satisfactory linearity (R2 ≥ 0.995) with EBN references, were selected as the assay marker; and their peptide sequences were confidently identified by searching database/de novo sequencing. Based on these markers, a qualitative and quantitative analytical method was successfully developed and well-validated in terms of linearity, precision, repeatability, and accuracy. The method was subsequently applied to detect EBN products on the market. The results indicated that more than half of EBN products were not consistent with what the merchants claimed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2945
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • edible bird’s nest
  • peptide markers
  • qualitative and quantitative analysis


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