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Tomato Juice Tastes Better on Airplanes and Other Fun Facts

Tomato Juice Tastes Better on Airplanes and Other Fun Facts

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All the drink facts listed in our slideshow are bona fide and sure to help get the conversation going at your next cocktail party.

Ever been sitting on an airplane and thought, “A glass of tomato juice would really hit the spot right now”? You’re not alone. A recent study sponsored by Lufthansa Airlines to help improve food and drink menus found that 27 percent of 1,000 passengers on the flight they studied ordered tomato juice; a far bigger proportion than one would expect in everyday, non-airplane situations. And in fact 23 out of the 27 who ordered it said the wouldn’t drink tomato juice at ground level.

What would seem on the surface like a freak phenomenon has a perfectly logical explanation. See slideshow for the fascinating details.

The Internet, usually overabundant with all things time-wasting, is surprisingly bare of fun drink facts. And the ones we could dig up were pretty inaccurate. For example, a few different sites will assure you that cenosillicaphobia, or fear of an empty glass, is a real, documented fear. While we certainly sympathize with that fear, we couldn’t find any actual evidence that this was a recognized psychological condition. Another drinking “fact” that you shouldn’t go spouting off at parties is the one that says a toast, or ritual clinking of glasses, was first practiced as a way of sloshing wine into the other guy’s cup; a sort of goodwill gesture whereby both parties could be sure their glasses weren’t poisoned. While that certainly sounds cool in a Game of Thrones sort of way, logically those glasses would have to be pretty full to intermix by the simple touching of cups. Not to mention the fact that “clinking” glasses is a fairly new addition to toasting, which used to be part of a communal drinking experience.

But don’t worry; you can trust us. All the drink facts listed in our slideshow are bona fide and sure to help get the conversation going at your next cocktail party. Just don’t accuse your host of trying to poison you during the toast. Read on do learn that tomato juice tastes better on airplanes and other fun facts!

1. They are fruits! Yes, tomatoes are fruits if we speak botanically. They are not vegetables.

2. They are world’s most popular fruit. With annual production of 60 million tons, they remain the world’s most demanded and most popular fruit. Second spot goes to bananas and third to apples, followed by oranges and watermelons respectively in 4th and 5th spot.

3. There is no point thinking that ripe tomatoes will be red. There are white, black, purple, pink and yellow ripe tomatoes.

4. How big can a tomato plant can grow? The world record of being the largest tomato plant goes to a single plant spread over an area of 56.73 square meters. That’s bigger that the swimming pool used in Olympic game. The plant was found in Walt Disney World Resort located in USA’s Florida.

5. There is a very messy annual festival in Spain. It goes by the name La Tomatina. Of course it involves tomatoes but what people do is, they don’t eat tomatoes. They throw tomatoes at each other. Some 150,000 tomatoes are used.

The Scientific Reason Bloody Marys Taste Better on Airplanes

If you’re not sure what to pair with that B-movie the next time you’re cruising at 30,000 feet, science suggests you try a Bloody Mary—and not just because it will make the plot of Taken 3 seem more plausible.

According to a group of Cornell-based researchers, tomato juice tastes better up in the air. The reason: the noise level on an airplane influences our perceptions of taste. In a study published recently in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 48 participants sampled a range of tomato juices—some were sweeter, while some were more salty or bitter. During the session, the noise level was steadily increased and participants were asked to rate the intensity of each flavor. The noisier the environment, the more difficulty people had detecting sweet flavors. Savory flavors, however—including tomatoes’ earthy “umami” taste—were easier to pick up.

This isn’t exactly news to airlines. Last year, a Lufthansa executive reported that they sell as much tomato juice as they do beer on flights. The company ordered a study of their own, which determined that the air pressure and humidity levels on planes make bolder drinks and foods more appealing.

There you go: official permission to spice up your next flight. Thanks, science!

Tuna salad

Some canned tuna is just plain bland, and coating it with mayo only further dulls its flavor. If you find yourself confronted with such an uninspiring tin of fish, a few sprinkles of MSG can perk it right up. Rather than changing the flavor profile of the tuna, it simply gives it what should’ve been there in the first place. Pair it with a little fish sauce, and you have a tuna salad sandwich that tastes right.

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Although it's quite healthy, it's not necessarily easy to know how to make tomato juice taste good. To do so, choose from different herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits to combat the mildly bitter taste of tomato juice and enhance its flavor. Whether you have prepared tomato juice at home or purchased it from the store, you can combine a range of preparation techniques and add flavor-enhancing ingredients to improve its taste.

Sweeten tomato juice with sugar if you prefer a sweeter juice, though it naturally contains sugar. If you'd rather skip the sugar, you can sweeten the drink with an artificial sweetener, such as aspartame or stevia.

Combine sauces such as Worcestershire, Tabasco or any hot sauce of your choice with prepared tomato juice. After all, hot sauces liven up tomato juice with a spicy kick. Use approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons of sauce for every liter of tomato juice. You could also use red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to give it a little pizazz.

Add the juice of other fruits to enhance the taste and nutritional content of tomato juice. Mix apple, carrot or grape juice into prepared tomato juice. Use 1/4 cup of fruit juice for every cup of tomato juice you use.

Add non-spicy herb and spice powders to flavor tomato juice with a savory taste. Mix in a pinch of ground salt, pepper, cumin, coriander or chili, or any other spice of your choice.

Add vegetables such as celery and onion while preparing tomato juice for a filling and flavorful drink. Chop a handful of celery stalks and one onion along with the tomatoes. Parboil in a saucepan with a little water on medium heat. Discard the water and juice the parboiled vegetables in a blender for three minutes. Strain the juice through a kitchen strainer to extract any seeds, peeling and large bits of vegetable. Chill the strained juice in the refrigerator before serving.

Why do we drink tomato juice on planes?


At 30,000 feet, tomato juice simply tastes different than at sea level. (Claus Ableiter/Creative Commons)

Ever get the urge to drink a glass of tomato juice on a flight? You aren’t alone, and there’s a scientific explanation why.

Every day, about eight million people travel by plane. Up in the stratosphere, hurtling along in a metal tube, those people will do some pretty strange things. Like spend 10 bucks on a can of Budweiser, watch back-to-back episodes of The Golden Girls, or buy something…anything…from SkyMall.

But few high-altitude behaviors are as strange as our sudden thirst for tomato juice. The thick savory drink isn’t so popular at sea level, but for many airplane passengers, it’s their first choice.

Guillaume De Syon is a professor at Albright College and an aviation historian. He says tomato juice on planes is a long-standing tradition, and it all started in the early days of commercial air travel. Back then, flying could be pretty terrifying.

“The flights were very noisy, there was a lot of vibration, you could hear the engine much more than you do nowadays, so drinking actually was a nice way of calming the nerves,” says De Syon.

“Once you got bored of course you would drink some more, and before in-flight entertainment, such as movies, this is what people did, to the extent that by the time they landed, say from a trans-Atlantic flight, it was not uncommon to see passengers completely drunk, trying to get through customs.”

But as jets got bigger and passenger loads increased, airlines couldn’t afford to serve free booze on every flight. Plus, charging for drinks was a great way to keep passengers from getting belligerent. When the industry was de-regulated in the late 70s, competition got stiff and airlines began charging for more of their services, including food and beverages. Free drinks started to fade away, but mixers—like tomato juice—stayed firmly on the menu.

But that doesn’t explain why people drink so much of it today.

“It’s actually a question airlines have been asking,” says De Syon. “How is it that they have to carry tomato juice?”

A few years ago, the German airline Lufthansa realized they served about 53,000 gallons of tomato juice annually. That’s just shy of the 59,000 gallons of beer they serve each year. Which is really significant, says Lufthansa catering executive Ernst Derenthal.

“I mean, Germans are known as a beer drinking nation, and that’s one of our favorite things and we are proud about it.”

Lufthansa wanted to know why passengers drank so much tomato juice, so they hired the Fraunhofer Society, a German research institute, to study it. Researchers put people in a flight simulator — the fuselage of an old Airbus A310. It perfectly mimicked the environment at altitude, complete with cabin pressure, turbulence, engine noise – even pictures of a blue sky and clouds taped to the windows. Then they served the participants food and beverages and had them report on how it tasted.

People consistently rated tomato juice as tasting better in the fake airplane than in a normal environment.

“We learned that tomato juice being on ground level is rather — I’m not saying moldy, but it tastes earthy, it tastes not overly fresh,” says Derenthal. “However, as soon as you have it at 30,000 feet, tomato juice shows, let’s say, its better side. It shows more acidity, it has some mineralic taste with it, and it’s very refreshing.”

Here’s why: When you’re cruising at altitude, cabin pressure is low — similar to the atmosphere one mile above sea level. That low pressure does several things. Your blood gets less oxygen, which makes your odor and taste receptors less sensitive. Mucus in your nasal cavities also expands in the low pressure environment, which makes it even harder to taste. On top of that, most airlines keep the cabin at about 10 to 15 percent humidity. This dries out your nose and mouth, cutting down your sense of taste even more. Congestion, dehydration — it feels kind of like having a bad cold. Sweets are less sweet, salty food is less salty, and it’s harder to taste certain herbs and spices (Curry retains its flavor at altitude, but that’s another story). As a result, most airplane food tastes bland, but tomato juice actually tastes better up in the air.

But Derenthal and his colleagues weren’t satisfied. After all, most passengers don’t know that tomato juice tastes any different at altitude, but they order it anyway. There must be something else going on.

“So we started observing passenger behavior, and then, of course, talking to flight attendants often,” says Derenthal.

They soon realized that everyone has a different reason for drinking tomato juice. Some drink it because it’s filling. Others say it settles the stomach and helps with air sickness. And most people just drink it because it’s there.

“Many people, they have not made their mind up, and just wonder ‘What should I drink? In two minutes I will be asked by the flight attendants,'” says Derenthal. “And then you see someone in front of you having a tomato juice and you think, ‘Why not? That’s a good idea. Oh I’ll have the same as the gentleman in the other row.'”

Most likely, it’s a combination of all these things. A lot of biology, a little history, and a dash of the unknown (maybe some Tabasco in there, too).

Science Explains Why Tomato Juice Tastes Best on a Plane

Airplane food is notorious for tasting like crap, but scientists say that is due to more than processed, gloppy ingredients. According to a new study by researchers at Cornell University, certain items aren't all that palatable 36,000 feet in the air all because of loud airplane noise. Robin Dando, an assistant professor of food science at the university, notes, "[The] study confirmed that in an environment of loud noise, our sense of taste is compromised."

However, it's mainly sweet tastes that are "inhibited." Umami-rich items — such as tomato juice, which is loaded with glutamates — are actually enhanced by loud airplane noise, and the taste is "significantly enhanced." Dando explains, "The multisensory properties of the environment where we consume our food can alter our perception of the foods we eat."

Airplane meals may improve in the future thanks to the research. Dando and his team hope that airlines use the study to help reconfigure airplane food menus so that meals taste better. The information isn't shocking to airline companies. Lufthansa says that it has noticed "passengers were consuming as much tomato juice as beer." So, the company commissioned a private study that showed cabin pressure enhanced the taste of dishes like tomato juice and tomato sauce.

Hopefully this means more umami-rich airplane meals will appear in the near future. Combined with 3D printing technology, which could allow airplanes to "print" fresher meals, and chef input, airplane meals may not suck so much one day.

What Are The Benefits Of Tomato Juice?

Is Tomato Juice a Fat Burner? Does it Help With Weight Loss?

According to the information obtained from the studies regularly consumed tomato has an 80% effect in the process of weight loss. You can quickly melt weight you want to give by consuming a glass of tomato juice before you wake up in the morning and go to sleep.

What Are The Benefits To Skin Of Tomato Juice?

Tomato protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, preventing sunspots caused by the sun on the skin.

Among the benefits of tomato to the skin, the most important is that is full of antioxidants that revitalize and replenish your skin. Tomatoes contain salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps to destroy acne by drying it.

Is Tomato Juice Good For Skin Blemishes?

You can also use the tomato to get rid of stains on your face. Add the flour to the paste and apply this mixture on your face in the form of a mask to take advantage of this effect. Leave for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse.

Does Tomato Juice Help With Pimples?

Add a few drops of lemon into a tablespoon of fresh tomato juice. Tomatoes clean skin to minimize the formation of acne, while helping to heal existing acne in a shorter time.

Is Tomato Juice Good For Prostate?

Experts and researchers say that these foods are good for prostate cancer. It is the most common drug of prostate cancer.

According to researches, the risk of USI prostate cancer decreases by 50 percent in those who consume more than 10 servings of tomato and tomato juice per week.

Is Tomato Juice Good For Anemia?

Tomato consumption prevents anemia. The high amount of vitamin C found in tomatoes is necessary for the absorption of iron. This is an indication that tomato protects against anemia.

Does Tomato Juice Help With Heart Healthy?

If the athletes, who will start their training, drink a glass of tomato juice at breakfast the same day, they can make perfect use of the tomato’s preventing and stopping effect of heart growth. This will disrupt the nutrition of the heart muscle and heart muscle, which cannot be fed enough, will be damaged.

What Is The Nutritional Value Of Tomato Juice?

Tomatoes and tomato products are also rich in vitamin A, potassium and folic acid. Fresh tomatoes also contain vitamin C.

By eating 1 medium-sized tomato per day, you can meet 15-20% of your vitamin C needs and 10% of your vitamin A needs. Besides all, tomatoes are a lycopene depot.

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O ver the years, some scientists have figuring out why flying may provoke a sudden interest in tomato juice. Even Lufthansa tried to understand why the company was selling on board 1.7 millions of tomato juice every year, against only 1.6 million of beers, when most of their passengers were German and big beer consumers?

After some study, the Fraunhofer Institute of Physic and the Cornell University agreed that the environment and intense decibel sound heightens a person’s taste for Umami or savory foods when the perception of salty and sweet would fall around 30%, and bitter, acidic and spicy taste would not change very much. Under normal pressure, Tomato juice is described as having an earthy and musty taste, and when the pressure is lower, it is described as having a refreshing taste and a sweet, fruity smell.

Umami flavor, the fifth taste listed after sweet, salty, bitter and sour, is found in meat, fish, vegetables, dairy products, soya sauce, parmesan cheese and apparently also in tomatoes. However, other scientists say biological factors can also explain the reason the taste perception changes on an airplane. At high altitude, the body gets less oxygen to the brain and senses get a little blunted. The air pressure could also change the sinuses to swell, and the smell intrinsically connected to taste could change. For others, a simple reason may occur: For most people airplane means vacation and in this context any drink has a softer taste!

Watch the video: Flugzeug-mythen im check (June 2022).


  1. Deanne

    Infinitely possible to discuss

  2. Mazutilar

    but in general it's funny.

  3. Lugaidh

    I congratulate, the bright idea

  4. Macleod

    No, well, this clearly should not have been posted on the Internet.

  5. Vigor

    The futesas!

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