Umami is the fifth taste. But how to visualize this taste? Together with another student, a contribution was made for the KLM magazine ´Flying Dutchman´ : all you want to know about the fifth taste can be found there.
The choice for an airplane magazine was on purpose : airplane passengers have to sit a long time in their chair. When they get bored, they will start to read. But this is not the only reason : we also checked the environment in an airplane. Due to the high air-pressure and low humidity, our taste buds are affected : salt is tasting 30% less and sugar up to 20%.
This means it has the same effect on taste as a cold. Airlines take this into account and add more salt and sugar to their meals. This results in higher blood pressure resulting in earlier fatigue and higher risk on muscle cramps. To counteract all these negative aspects, there is only one solution : umami! Instead of adding extra salt to the meals, airlines can serve umami-rich food. Scientific research has proven that umami is not influenced by the specific environment in an airplane : even more, umami will even taste stronger at high altitude!