Food, Drinks and Cabin Pressure
There is a reason why food aboard a flight is seldom impressive. In fact in all our combined flights all over the world, we could only remember one great meal, a Bento box aboard Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Kyoto. A lot of this has to do with the fact that our sense of taste is not a good traveller and not enthusiastic about low humidity and cabin pressure.
According to a 2010 study conducted by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, dryness and high altitude not only affects taste buds but our sense of smell as well. Interestingly, the study also found that while salt and sweet senses diminish, sour and spice perceptions seem to do fine.
So what is an airline supposed to do, conduct meal trials and tastings above 30,000 feet? Singapore Airlines took us to the SATS In-Flight Catering to show us what it takes a meal taste good in the sky. At their Changi outpost we saw not just the volumes they cater but also the science and research involved behind making a single meal. It was a modern version of the egg machine from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang combined with chefs and lab technicians analyzing every single detail.
Building an aircraft cabin simulator made a lot of sense
There are 19 separate kitchens which take care of meals for Economy, Premium and First Class. This also includes multiple kitchens to cater to various religious and health specifications as well as cuisines. To fight back against bland food in the air, SATS decided to build an aircraft cabin simulator, which creates the exact atmospheric and pressure conditions as in 36,000 feet above air. As a result, chefs can tweak around dishes on an ingredient level and not just over season food to make it taste better. This is also valid for wines and spirits. Over 1000 wines and spirits are tasted twice annually for Singapore Airlines in the simulator by a star tasting panel, something we would love to try one day.
For Singapore Airlines alone, SATS In-Flight Catering serves 42,000 meals daily. 37,000 of these are Economy Class meals, 4,600 are Business Class meals and 400 are First Class meals. Approximately, 100,000 special meals are served on board Singapore Airline crafts, in a month.
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Taste SATS In-Flight Catering meals on board Singapore Airlines!
Singapore Airlines started operations to India in 1970, with the launch of services to Chennai. Today, Singapore Airlines and its regional carrier – SilkAir – combined offer 81 weekly connections from India to Singapore. Singapore Airlines provides 63 onward weekly connections from Singapore to four iconic cities (Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo) in Japan. For further details, log on to www.singaporeair.com or www.silkair.com.