Researcher Dr. Andy Woods from Unilever’s laboratories and the University of Manchester told the BBC News, “There’s a general opinion that airplane foods aren’t fantastic. I’m sure airlines do their best, and given that, we wondered if there are other reasons why the food would not be so good. One thought was perhaps the background noise has some impact.”
“NASA gives their (astronauts) very strong-tasting foods, for some reason thay can’t taste food that strongly. Again, perhaps it’s the background noise,” added Dr. Woods.
Study participants were blindfolded and fed sweet and salted foods while listening to silence, or noise, through headphones while rating the flavor, intensity and crunchiness. It was determined that louder noise caused foods to score lower in sweetness and saltiness, while rating higher in crunchiness, then the same foods consumed in silence.
These results have led to changes in rankings of the worst and best places to enjoy a meal as follows, only airplanes repeated an appearance on the list following the study, having dropped from worst to fifth on the new list.
Worst places to enjoy a meal.
5- Aboard airplanes
4- On school buses/ or in school cafeterias
3- Construction sites
2- Music Concerts (specifically 80’s Rock)
1- World Cup Soccer Match
Best places to enjoy a meal.
5- Hospital Zones
4- Jennifer Aniston movie premieres
3- Tampa Bay Rays home games
2- Public Libraries
1- Deserted Islands