Why is airline food so tasteless?

It’s amazing how taste changes on board the aircraft, and tomato juice becomes a real hit of the local diet. In this issue we will explain why this is happening.

Many people flying on airplanes complain that the food on board is tasteless, blaming the airline and the chefs who cooked it, but it’s not just them. In 2010, the Fraunhofer Institute of Building Physics of the Society conducted a large-scale study commissioned by Lufthansa, which directly speaks about the connection of dry air and reduced pressure on our perception of taste. Incredibly, at an altitude of ten thousand meters, the humidity of the air is only 12 percent, which is drier than in many deserts. Due to this, the ability to feel sweet or salty drops by about 30%, unlike, for example, from sour and bitter, whose tastes remain almost unchanged. This happens because a person perceives 80% of the taste of a dish due to the smell, but here in the dry air of the vessel the olfactory receptors practically do not work, due to the absence of evaporation of nasal mucus.

In addition to dryness, it affects the taste, and the noise in the plane, as evidenced by a study conducted in 2011 by the University of Manchester. The noise at 85 decibels not only deprived the food of taste, but also made it more crispy. That is why the chefs working in airlines use spices and various flavor enhancers in a much larger volume than those who work in ordinary restaurants.

Of course, we could not overlook the tomato juice, which is truly very popular on board the aircraft. In its structure, it has a pronounced taste in minds or simply glutamic acid, which is one of the five tastes that a person can feel. As you understand, we are talking about glutamate, which is often used as a flavor enhancer, and precisely because when salt and sugar are no longer felt, this acid becomes a favorite for our perception.

In conclusion, we would like to add that, according to the rules of aviation security, absolutely all dishes must be cooked on the ground, and many of them are also frozen. Naturally, reheating significantly affects their taste, even if it did not happen in the air, but in a restaurant.