They determined background noise negatively affects our perception to food. The hum of engines, for example, makes that "chicken or beef?" taste worse than if the same meal was consumed in a quieter environment. In other words, it's not low humidity or the pre-cooked and re-heated process to blame. Your hearing is influencing your taste buds.
The article cautions "higher noise levels aren't enough to make people hate their meals", which I thought was evident after this Virgin Atlantic meal.
The researchers fed 48 blindfolded participants a variety of foods from biscuits to rice crackers to cheddar cheese. At the same time, headphones either canceled out noise or provided various levels of white noise. The subjects then rated the intensity of the flavors and how much they liked or didn't like them.
The result: the higher the noise level, the less the participants tasted salty or sweet flavors. Their sensitivity to the crunchiness of their food was amplified.
Hear no evil...eat no evil?