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Hit-Or-Miss Science

The Real Reason We Can Never Really Enjoy Airline Food

No one’s ever super stoked about airline food, as a plate of gelatinous chicken, and soggy veggies don’t usually cause much excitement, but even the best airline food is destined for failure, and there’s not much we can do about it.

Some of the major components that affect our taste buds, are humidity, air pressure, sense of smell, and sense of hearing. When you’re up in the air traveling, all of those factors are affected and ruin our ability to adequately taste food, according to SciShow.

Airline cabins are dry and humid, and have very low pressure, causing something called Xerostomia, AKA cottonmouth. The drying out process going on in your mouth decreases the sensitivity in your your taste buds by 30 percent so whatever you’re consuming during then, is with compromised taste buds.

It also doesn’t help that the environment in an airplane is noisy, and no one enjoys their meals in a noisy room, as is evident when trying to enjoy the pizza at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

All this means that when it comes to in-flight food, we’re playing from behind as soon as we hit the air. Our taste buds just won’t let us enjoy the food. Plus, Gordon Ramsay said he’ll never, ever eat airline food, so that alone should be enough reason to distrust it.

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Technology

Scientists Create Simulator That Finally Lets You Taste the Internet

Digital State Interface

Scientists at the National University of Singapore are developing a technology that could transform the way we watch cooking shows. Known as the Digital Taste Interface, this cutting-edge simulator would allow us to experience the taste of food and drink electronically.

The technology doesn’t rely on any sort of chemicals to produce familiar flavors. Instead, it uses electrodes and thermal manipulation to stimulate taste buds and reproduce basic taste sensations — sweet, sour, salty and bitter — all done noninvasively by placing small sheets of metal on the tongue.

Dr Nimesha Ranasinghe, a university engineer, also notes the importance of additional senses to support the entire tasting experience:

“To simulate flavours we need to go beyond taste and incorporate smell, texture, colors and other modalities, because flavor is a cross sensory experience with multiple senses. At the moment we are expanding our technology to add the sense of smell into the experience, with the hope that by doing so we can expand the varieties of flavor sensations we can generate digitally.”

Digital Taste Interface isn’t just for a digital food experience, either; researchers are also looking to use the technology in gaming systems (ie: rewarding wins with sweet flavors and losses with bitter tastes) and medical situations. Those with Diabetes, for example, would ideally be able to taste the sweetness of candy without spiking their blood sugar levels.

Even though this technology is still in development, Digital Taste Interface could be the future of tasting our TV and online entertainment.

H/T + Picthx The Telegraph