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Tabasco: Secret Sauce of Space Travel

bottle to the left, Neatoramanauts, may just be the secret sauce for interplanetary
travel. That’s right, tabasco.

Turns out that after spending some time in space, astronauts’ taste in
food change:

If you think astronauts just want dehydrated dinners and freeze-dried
ice cream, think again. After a few days in space, they start reaching
for the hot sauce.

In fact, they may start craving foods they didn’t necessarily like
on Earth.

"They crave [spicy] peppers, they crave sour and sweet things,"
says Jean Hunter, a food engineer at Cornell University. That means
Tabasco sauce was definitely on the menu for space shuttle astronauts.

Why this sudden interest in hot peppers? Part of the reason may
be that after arriving in space, astronauts lose their sense of smell,
which largely governs the pleasurable taste of food. An example of this
is coffee. "If you hold your nose and sip your coffee, you’re getting
just a bitter liquid," says Hunter.


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February 24th, 2012

Stranger to the World


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