An airport food supplier has created sandwiches designed to remain packed with flavour when eaten in the air.
Research has shown flying can reduce the ability of the body to sense flavours and aromas – prompting London Stansted airport food outlet Not Always Caviar to create two sandwiches with flavours that are enhanced at altitude.
The Sky High sandwiches come in two variants, a Signature Seafood Club (rsp £9.95), which has optional caviar dressing for an extra £2, and the Salt Beef Deli (rsp £8.50). They include umami-rich ingredients and an umami seasoning to boost other basic flavours.
The Signature Seafood Club is made with Scottish smoked salmon, salmon tartare, shrimp and guacamole-style avocado with lemon and chilli flakes, beef tomato and spinach leaves served on granary bread. The optional caviar sauce comprises ketchup, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and 5 grams of caviar.
TheSalt Beef Deli sandwich contains salt beef finely chopped and mixed in with mayonnaise and mustard, cheddar, sliced cornichons/gherkins and spinach leaves on a diamond roll.
Professor Barry C Smith, director of The Centre for the Study of the Senses at the University of London, who worked with Not Always Caviar to develop the sandwiches, said: “The combination of dry air and low-pressure during flights reduces our sensitivity to food aromas.
“Additionally, the sound of white noise at 80 decibels or above has an impact on the brain’s ability to perceive sweet, salt and sour from the tongue – reducing its intensity by about 10-15%. In an aircraft cabin, you are subjected to white noise of around 89 decibels.
“Foods rich in umami provide depth of flavour and boost other basic tastes like salt, sweet and sour. Umami is also immune to the effects of white noise on our perception of taste.
Another way of boosting flavour mid-flight – where the altitude and white noise levels are high – is to combine different types of umami-rich foods, creating synergistic umami. This occurs when foods with naturally occurring glutamates are combined with others that contain nucleotides. Foods that combine these ingredients will produce a product that’s packed with flavour – even at 35,000 feet.