What's the deal with airline food? Don't eat the buns!

There are some tricks that will make meals on the plane tastier. Wearing headphones for example...

 Passengers board an airplane. (photo credit: FLICKR)
Passengers board an airplane.
(photo credit: FLICKR)

Getting a meal during your flight? Before you start biting, it is highly recommended to give up the bun that is served with it. Food experts recommend not touching these buns, unless you really want to feel sick after landing.

Dr. Charles Platkin, executive director of the Food Policy Center at Hunter College in New York, looked at several airline meals. He warns that such carb-laden food will neither fill you up and make you feel tired after you reach your destination. This means giving up pasta and cakes.

Pasta, pizza and a whole lot more (credit: JONATHAN SHMUKLER)Pasta, pizza and a whole lot more (credit: JONATHAN SHMUKLER)

"The low air pressure in the passenger cabin, the dry air and the loud engine noises, contribute to our inability to taste and smell food and drink."

Prof. Charles Spence

"Eating complex carbohydrates such as pasta with thick sauces, breads, muffins or cakes will leave you feeling tired, irritable and not full," explains Platkin. "Your sugar levels will climb and then fall, which will negatively affect how you feel."

On top of that, those rolls won't be as tasty as you might expect them to be. During the flight, the taste buds are affected by the air pressure, which reduces the oxygen level in the blood. The result is that the part of your nervous system, whose role is to respond to smells, becomes less sensitive - and impairs your sense of smell.

Fritz Gross, director of culinary excellence at LSG Sky Chefs Asia Pacific, which specializes in the production of food for flights, explains that if you want to feel the taste well, it is recommended to choose between two types of food: rice or stew. The reason for this is that both of these types can be easily heated without losing the original texture or taste.

"We can cook it and reheat it over and over again, and it will still be a stew," Gross explained.

Headphones can improve taste 

And there is more good news: There are various methods that will help the food served to you on the flight to be tastier, at least in feeling. Even if you choose different meals from those described earlier. Prof. Charles Spence, an expert on flavors and food, says that the noise of the plane's engines can make the food taste 10 percent more bitter for a month.

"Wearing a pair of noise-canceling headphones can actually be one of the simplest ways to make food and drink taste better at high altitude," he says. "The low air pressure in the passenger cabin, the dry air and the loud engine noises, contribute to our inability to taste and smell food and drink."