Why is the meal on the airplane unpalatable?

The more they flew, the thicker they became

In the 1940s, people began to get used to planes. But they did not cease to be afraid of them. Observations of marketers led to a new round of development of air gastronomy. They noticed that after eating people behave more calmly, become friendly and no longer so furiously cling to the seats.

In favor of delicious dinners played another important fact. Under the law, at that time, air carriers could not attract customers either by discounts, or by an understated ticket price. The lever of pressure on the customer, became food.

So, the airlines started their gastronomic competition, which lasted until 1978, until the laws were changed.

And if before 1978, food in business and economic classes was equally good, then after, the situation radically changed. Every air carrier wanted to save money. Since that time an interesting fact foodhas remained. American Airlines removed olives from its dinners, and saved $ 40,000. Just imagine how much you could save on other components!

But, if you think that this is the reason for the tasteless food that is served in the aircraft now, you are mistaken.

Mmmm, eating on the plane. Who does not want to eat a thin salad “Iceberg” of three leaves, a tough chicken with a handful of sluggish vegetables and that last attempt at salvation – a bun? As easily as we complain about airplane food (and compensate for the shortcomings with excess salt and pepper …), science has determined that our biology plays its role in a not-so-successful culinary equation.

Crew – separately, passengers – separately

For the pilots are prepared specifically. It is important that the “helmsman” of the aircraft eat a different meal. This is done for security reasons. Each toucher is signed. And if someone becomes ill, it will be possible to immediately discover an enemy dinner.

But that’s not all. In the ration of pilots, products from the risk zone are excluded. For example, eggs, not pasteurized dairy products … But this is only in flight. And on the Earth pilots eat whatever they think is right.


Under pressure.

Eating is a multi-sensory experience. Take a piece of food into your mouth, and the olfactory system will work in unison with the taste cells and receptors before you experience the world of tastes: salty and sweet, spicy and spicy.

But when one feeling does not work, the others also suffer.

Let’s face it, our senses simply were not created to function at an altitude of 9,144 m or more. Today airplanes fly at an altitude of about 10 668 m. At the same time, in the cabin itself the pressure is up to 1828-2438 m, which, although much less, is still sufficient to dull the sense of smell and taste. Combine the height with a lack of moisture – and your senses are completely destroyed.


Dryness breaks the sense of smell. In the cabin air is pumping air when the degree of humidity hangs below 20% (for reference, you have an average of 35-40% at home). As a result of the height and desolate dryness, your taste cells are in mild shock, reacting almost as much as with a cold or sinusitis. While the susceptibility to sour, bitter, sharp does not undergo a strong change, the ability to distinguish between sweet and salted is reduced by 30%, and therefore the food becomes super-fresh.

The noise of the engine is serious.

Recent studies have shown that a noisy environment can also dull susceptibility to sweet taste and strengthen to spice by 15%. While people on the plane are mostly quiet, except for the rarely crying child or chatterbox who has drunk too many glasses of wine, engine sound and normal white noise can greatly affect your taste.

Yes, the food is still not perfect.

Okay, so we can (and certainly will) lay part of the blame on the food itself.

Food for airplanes is mass produced on the ground, is subjected to shock freezing (cooled to the level of antibacterial medium), placed on the aircraft and then heated in a convection oven.


From the point of view of logistics, this process is a necessary evil (for one flight hundreds of dishes are prepared), but it is clear that it is not entirely suitable for maintaining any resemblance to a flavor and aromatic bouquet.

So, until the new school of cooking for the Samovites (and the food will be available for the economy class) is on its feet, we are in the ardent waiting for our next earthly dinner. In the meantime, you can watch movies on the road to get a little distracted.

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