The food you eat on the plane may taste very different (and possibly tasteless), but we can’t say it’s the airline chef’s fault. In fact, your sense of taste perceives flavors much differently when you are 10 kilometers above the ground than at sea level.
The air recirculated inside an airtight aircraft cabin becomes very dry. meaning that the air on a commercial airplane is drier than most deserts, It is known to have about 12 percent humidity.
Due to the lack of moisture in the air, our nasal passages become dry and our sense of smell is less able to distinguish between odors. Since smell plays a very important role in the sense of taste, our perception of the taste of food can be dampened and its taste may become softer.
According to a study conducted by the German airline Lufthansa in 2010 and requested by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, when dry air and low pressure are combined, salt is perceived as up to 30 percent less dense and sugar up to 20 percent less dense why is this happening.
An aroma chemist working on the project Dr. Andrea Burdack-Freitagin his statement, “The taste of the food and drinks you take during the flight is the same as we perceive it when we have a cold.” says.
The study found that umami (which tends to have a more intense aroma anda sense of taste associated with meat and other high-protein foodssuggests that Asian dishes rich in ) tend to retain their flavor more effectively than dishes described as “softer”, such as plain fish or poultry.
Noise can also be a problem.
Another problem during flight can be noise. Research shows that background sounds can have a significant impact on food perception, particularly our perception of sweetness and saltiness. Since the noise inside airplane cabins can reach about 80 decibels (approximately the same as a vacuum cleaner), This sound can also weaken your enjoyment of food.
A 2015 study found that umami-rich foods such as tomatoes, mushrooms and aged meats tend to retain their flavor even when consumed in an airplane-like environment. Airlines reportedly caught this trend after it was noticed that passengers were consuming suspiciously high amounts of tomato juice during the flight.
Assistant professor of food science at the City University of New York Robin Dando in his statement, “Our study confirmed that a noisy environment affects our sense of taste. Interestingly, this was typical of sweet and umami flavors, with the sweet taste being inhibited and the umami flavor significantly enhanced. The multi-sensory characteristics of the environment in which we consume our food can change our perception of the food we eat.” said.