Qantas unveil new menu for jetlag by neil perry chicken marsala olive garden nutrition

Does overly salty or sugary airline food leave you feeling sluggish and parched long after you’ve touched down? Qantas wants to help with that.

The airline has unveiled the menu for their new qantas 787 dreamliner perth to london route earlier today in a media event held in sydney, with dishes designed specifically to help reduce jetlag – and it could be a real game-changer for air travel.

The airline’s famous creative director of food, beverage & service, neil perry, helmed the proceedings, speaking on the work he’s been doing with a team of scientists and experts to create dishes that would help bring on sleep, and even reset our body clocks for the next destination.

"Working with clinical sleep specialists, nutritionists and metabolic scientists, we’ve designed new menu options using delicious ingredients that have added benefits of hydration, aiding sleep and reducing jetlag," perry said.


However, chilli is on his black-list, and perry is trialling plucking the spicy ingredient from the menu altogether despite loving it himself while flying.Dreamliner perth london why?

"Chilli is obviously a stimulant, but really great for aiding and speeding up digestion… it speeds up your metabolism. So what we want to try and do, when we want you to go to sleep, is to try and avoid stimulating you."

The menu has focused on creating dishes that encourage melatonin production – the sleep-inducing hormone. Foods that are high in protein and contain tryptophan (like barramundi or chicken) combined with carbohydrates, will have you clocking zzzzs in no time.

For those who resort to sleeping pills, perry makes a good case for trying to fall asleep naturally: "melatonin only puts you to sleep, it doesn’t keep you asleep."

Among the menu highlights are a seared cone bay barramundi with herb garlic potatoes, broccolini, lemon, olive almond salsa, and a tasty tomato and mushroom puff pastry tart with corn salsa.

Perhaps some of the most unconventional additions – a cold pressed juice shot and a kombucha, all containing probiotics to aid with digestion and bloating and encourage passengers to stay hydrated throughout the flight.Dreamliner perth

The new dishes roll out on the airline’s 787 dreamliner perth to london service from march 24, and passengers will still receive a selection of old favourites – albeit with some anti-jetlag ingredient additions and exclusions, according to qantas’ partner professor stephen simpson, academic director of sydney university’s charles perkins centre.

"Salt is a flavour as well as a dehydrator, so we needed make sure we could enhance the flavour without using dehydrating, salty flavourings."

The reason airline food has historically been loaded with salt and sugar is because we lose about 30 percent of our tastebuds at 35,000 feet.

But with dehydrating salts, sugar and caffeine – all culprits for fuelling jetlag – off the table, how exactly did perry amp up the dishes for altitude?

Certainly on first read of the menu, the dishes sound rather delicate – seared tuna poke bowls with sesame dressing, custom-designed herbal teas and infusions.Dreamliner perth

The chef managed to address flavour by developing relishes, salsas and healthy dressings to enhance dishes without upping their salt content.

"We’re going to have about 20 people per flight that will do research for us, and we’re going to gather information about whether these things that we’re doing are making people feel better, more relaxed, and cope with the flight better," he said.