Altitude’s Influence on Taste
The impact of high altitudes on taste buds is a fascinating phenomenon. Studies show that reduced air pressure and humidity levels in the cabin affect taste perception, leading airlines to adapt their menus accordingly. Airlines invest in research and collaborate with food scientists to understand how specific ingredients interact with taste receptors in the altered cabin environment. Chefs are also involved in this process. British Airways have collaborated with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal to curate a bespoke menu that retains flavours at cruising altitudes, emphasising ingredients which are splendid on the pallet despite altered taste perceptions.
Tomatoes are one such ingredient that are favoured by airlines for their ability to retain flavour mid-flight. And, fortunately for the industry, tomato-based dishes are popular and delicious – the perfect fusion of science and customer satisfaction!