British low-cost airline Monarch is trialling a new in-flight menu designed to boost the immune system, calm nerves and has the potential to reduce the effects of jet lag. Designed by Oxford University's Professor Charles Spence, the menu will be served on flights between Luton and Naples, Gibraltar and Malaga.
Pre-flight dishes include echinacea and liquorice ice cream to boost immunity while travelling and green tea and lavender cakes to promote relaxation and fight jet lag.
At 30 minutes into the flight, travellers are given herbal tea with kelp, fennel seed and chamomile to reduce bloat, which typically affects 18% of travellers. Alongside this is served a seaweed biscuit to provide strong, salty umami flavours that surpass inhibited taste perception in-flight caused by reduced cabin pressure, engine noise and dry air on the plane.
Before landing, passengers receive a caramelised nut snack bar, coated in an umami mushroom and tomato powder to energise them post-flight.
For an example of airlines working to scientifically boost the quality of airline food, see our blog post on Cathay Pacific's High-Altitude Beer. Additionally, read our latest report detailing how flexible airlines are developing their services to factor in the need for today's discerning traveller, Agile Airlines Reshape Travel.