Joel Callen


Mon, 4 May, 2015

The real reason plane food doesn’t taste great

The real reason plane food doesn’t taste great

Did you know that if your meal on board a plane doesn’t taste as nice as you think it should, you can’t blame the airline? Why, you ask? It turns out that at higher altitudes, the sensitivity of your taste buds is reduced by around a third.

The cause of this taste bud malfunction is actually your nostrils. The low humidity and low-pressure environment of the plane cabin dry out the mucus in your nostrils, and that’s what’s needed to smell properly. With your sense of smell contributing greatly to your perception of taste, the food you eat in these conditions won’t taste as strongly as it would on the ground.

But the strangeness doesn’t end there. The loud environment of the plane cabin can also result in funky-tasting food. Studies have found that sound exceeding 85 decibels can result in meals tasting less salty or sweet.

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