Why does airline food taste so bland?

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According to an article in the English newspaper, The Independent, research at the University of Manchester suggests that the reason may be that the white noise one commonly hears in an aircraft cabin causes one to lose one's sense of taste. "The white noise of an aircraft cabin could act as a distraction to a person's sense of taste, which would account for why airline food needs to compensate by being saltier or sweeter than usual. Alternatively, the effect could be due to the contrast between the pleasure of eating and the stress of listening to white noise, Dr Poliakoff [the lead researcher] said."