Why do inflight meals taste bad? It’s actually your Fault
Did you know that it’s our fault why flight meals taste so bad? This is a fact that’s definitely hard to swallow. But according to Lufthansa LSG Sky Chefs, there is a scientific basis behind this.
Sky Chefs Executive Chef for Culinary Development Grant Mickels revealed that our sense of taste goes bonkers miles above ground: ‘At 35,000 feet, the first thing that goes is your sense of taste.’
A separate study by the German research group Fraunhofer Institute confirmed this by creating a mock airplane cabin to see how pressure affected the sense of taste. They concluded that there are startling changes in taste when food is eaten in pressurised conditions.
Mickels points to the pressure and the cool, dry air inside the cabin as the guilty party behind dull food; the conditions make ‘your taste buds go numb, almost as if you had a cold.’ In high altitudes, our sense of saltiness and sweetness drops by 30%, he added. Humidity inside the cabin also disrupts the sense of smell which is important in perceiving tastes.
While this suggests that food isn’t really the problem behind tasteless flight meals, there are still factors outside our control that can affect food. According to scientist and author Harold McGee, the preparation and storage of flight meals causes it to deteriorate.
However, airlines are now doing what they can to improve flight meals not just to impress passengers but to boost income. The British Airways, for example, is introducing the Japanese secret ingredient umami to their meals to make them more savoury.