No matter what it is, airline food tastes so bad. This thought is so widespread. There are already expressions like “Taste like Airplane Food" used to describe foods that do not taste good. This, of course, led the airlines to making great efforts to improve their meal; hiring best chefs to produce tasty dishes for the lucky business class.
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The inevitable question arises why airline food tastes so bad? This is perhaps not the fault of the airline, but rather that of your nose! Many studies suggest that the humidity and noise are among the elements that spoil the taste of the meal. At high altitude, cabin pressurize and maintain at low humidity. That "confuses" the taste buds & sense of smell - which also effects on the taste. The low humidity in airline cabins also dries out the nose which decreases olfactory sensors, which are essential for tasting flavor in the dishes. Resulting the perception of saltiness and sweetness drops 30% at high altitudes.
You can also blame the aircraft background noise. Researchers found that loud background noise suppresses saltiness, sweetness and overall enjoyment of food.