We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
When flying, your taste buds prefer savory tomato
News

When flying, your taste buds prefer savory tomato

When flying, your taste buds prefer savory tomato
News

When flying, your taste buds prefer savory tomato

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "When flying, your taste buds prefer savory tomato"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

If you’re planning to fly, plan to drink some tomato juice. While examining how airplane noise affects the palate, Cornell University food scientists found sweetness suppressed and a tasty, tender tomato surprise: umami.


A Japanese scientific term, umami describes the sweet, savory taste of amino acids such as glutamate in foods like tomato juice, and according to the new study, in noisy situations – like the 85 decibels aboard a jetliner – umami-rich foods become your taste bud’s best buds.


“Our study confirmed that in an environment of loud noise, our sense of taste is compromised. Interestingly, this was specific to sweet and umami tastes, with sweet taste inhibited and umami taste significantly enhanced,” said Robin Dando, assistant professor of food science. “The multisensory properties of the environment where we consume our food can alter our perception of the foods we eat.”


With Dando, Kimberly Yan, co-authored the study, “A Crossmodal Role for Audition in Taste Perception,” published online in March in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. The research will appear in a forthcoming print edition of the journal.


The study may guide reconfiguration of airline food menus to make airline food taste better. Auditory conditions in air travel actually may enhance umami, the researchers found. In contrast, exposure to the loud noise condition dulled sweet taste ratings.


Airlines acknowledge the phenomenon. German airline Lufthansa had noticed that passengers were consuming as much tomato juice as beer. The airline commissioned a private study released last fall that showed cabin pressure enhanced tomato juice taste.


Taste perception depends not only on the integration of several sensory inputs associated with the food or drink itself, but also on the sensory attributes of the environment in which the food is consumed, the scientists say.


“The multisensory nature of what we consider ‘flavor’ is undoubtedly underpinned by complex central and peripheral interactions,” said Dando. “Our results characterize a novel sensory interaction, with intriguing implications for the effect of the environment in which we consume food.”


Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Cornell University   Original reporting by: Melissa Osgood


Publication

Kimberly S. Yan, Robin Dando. A Crossmodal Role for Audition in Taste Perception.   Journal of Experimental Psychology, Published March 16 2015. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000044


Advertisement