July 23, 2024

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Science behind In-Flight Beverages


Have you ever been on a flight and ordered a drink you wouldn’t normally order? Say for example, you order a bloody Mary or tomato juice. Have you ever wondered why you order these types of drinks on a flight and no where else? This is a huge opportunity for the Beverage Public Relations industry.

Well science feels they have come up with the reason behind it. According to some authors, a bloody Mary might actually taste the way it’s supposed to, up in the air. I know this sounds a bit far-fetched and crazy to even contemplate. But there may be some validity behind it. It turns out that air-craft carriers can reduce our abilities to taste certain things. Studies have showed that our taste levels can be reduced by up to 30%.

There has also been some evidence suggesting, that it will increase the four other basic taste sensations. The four taste sensations are as follows:

1) Salty
2) Bitter
3) Sweet
4) Sour

But according to the fifth major taste sensation, it doesn’t feel the effects at all. The fifth major taste sensation, known as Umami, as been likened to the “Savory” sensation.


Charles Spence, an author who researched this, claims this might be one of the reasons for the increased gravitation towards tomato-based drinks. What some don’t realize is, the key ingredient in any tomato drink is umami. That is why so many tend to order a blood Mary or other tomato drinks on a flight.

This activity has been going on for a long time now. Maybe scientists are starting to catch up to what the public has already known.

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With the research on this hypothesis floating around a great deal right now, a umami diet could help out others too. This umami effect could help diners and chefs plan their meals more proactively. If you added more foods with parmesan cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms-all of which are rich in umami- it could be very beneficial.

Take those who dine in local eateries. They are always complaining about the noise level, especially those who live up north. The noise level might not be a big deal, if their diet was filled with more of these foods.


Though the idea sounds encouraging, it’s still to early to say anything official. According to Spence, there is more research that still needs to be done.

Read more from Ronn Torossian:

Ronn Torossian on Forbes
Ronn Torossian on Medium
Ronn Torossian on LinkedIn
Ronn Torossian Update
Ronn Torossian on Business Insider