Types of Meals Served in Airlines: Just like the hotels the aircraft has its own menu or catering system for its passengers so that they can enjoy the meal of their choice whenever they are travelling for which they have an In-flight catering department to look into the needs of the passenger and to load it on board of a flight.
The In-flight catering usually hands over the meals directly to the cabin crew according to the list of orders, which they receive from the passenger, which they book, or order at the time of booking tickets.
The catering department after receiving the order electronically or in some cases manually prepares the meals on the same day of the travel so that it can be delivered fresh and healthy and safely to the passengers on board. These meals are generally delivered pre packed in a container or a plate to ensure hygiene and safety of the food.
Also read Aviation Industry: Definition & History
Meals varieties/Types of Meals Served in Airlines
Although the airlines have the choice for the passengers to place an order for their meal/s but they have a system of their own for what to serve and what not to serve along with certain codes allotted to each category of meal/s. This is done to ensure safe and healthy food catering to the passenger so that they could eat according to their wish and health habits.
Like the passenger suffering with a diabetic problem can have or order a Diabetic meal (DBML) in which food containing sugar and carbohydrates are avoided and foods which are offered are or can be Lean meat, fish, vegetables, fresh fruits.
Another example we can take of a child meal (CHML) which is generally ordered for a child passenger on board in which strong spices, big pieces and any gravy item is avoided and bite sized pieces of food liked by children, as they are easy to eat, nutritionally balanced is offered.
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Here is a list of special meals with the codes and their description of content is as follows:
- AVML – Asian/Indian meal, which is given on request the foods, avoided are meat, poultry, fish/shellfish and eggs. It’s an Indian style vegetarian meal.
- BBML – Infant/baby meal, which is ordered for infants these are generally branded readymade baby meals in, jars on international fits e.g. Gerber, Heinz. Cerelac etc on domestic flights.
- BLML – Bland meal/low residue (fibre)/ulcer diet given to passenger having chronic ulcer/gastro intestinal diseases in this highly seasoned foods, foods causing gastric discomfort like cabbage, onions, peppers, chilly powder and beverages containing caffeine are avoided; light easily digestible dishes of steamed, broiled poultry/ fish/lean meat. Fruits, vegetables, rice and low fat meals are included.
- CHML – Child meal for children with bite-sized pieces of foods liked by children like burger, pasta and pizza are included and strong spices, big pieces and gravies are excluded.
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- DBML – Diabetic meal for diabetic passenger or passenger with Pancreatic diseases in which sugar and carbohydrates contents are avoided and food like lean meat, fish , vegetables and fresh fruits are included.
- GFML – Gluten (starch) free meal for passengers having intestinal disease problems in this meal food avoided are flour with high amount of gluten, wheat, rye, oatmeal. Fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry products are included.
- HFML – High fibre meal for digestive, liver disorders contains high dietary fibre like green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts. While refined flour is avoided.
- HNML – Hindu meal containing non-veg Hindu meal cooked in Indian style. Although beef or beef products are avoided.
- JAIN ML – Jain meal basically a special on request vegetarian meal prepared for Jain people excluding vegetarian meal with no root vegetables, like onion, potato, ginger used and garlic also no pork and pork products and fish.
- KSML – Kosher meal which is also an on request meal contains food prepared following Jewish traditions and laws. The box containing the meal is sealed and can only be opened by the passenger himself. It is a meal in which scales and mollusks are avoided.
- KDML – Kedassia/ Kedawi meal which is also prepared on request and is same as kosher meal.
- LCML – Low calorie meal given to heart patients or over weight passengers avoiding Carbohydrates and contains high protein and fibre diet – lentils, fresh fruits on request fatty foods can be included and veg, lean meat, fish and poultry products.
- LFML – Low fat meal for passengers suffering high blood cholesterol levels, heart diseases all carbohydrate containing food is avoided and high- protein, fibre diet and poultry products are included in this meal.
- LPML – Low protein meal for passengers having kidney and liver disorders in this meal red meat, pulses, beans and cheese products are avoided while lean meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, light carbohydrates like rice, potatoes are included.
- LSML – Low sodium/ salt free meal for passengers having high blood pressure or kidney disorders it contains food which is seasoned with herbs and spices only and salt seasoning is avoided.
- MOML – Muslim meal prepared on request and according to the Muslim – Shariat traditions or laws (only halal meat is used) and alcohols and pork products are avoided.
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- NLML – Non lactose meal for passengers allergic to milk or milk products meal avoids any milk or milk products and Soya milk or other beverages are used as a substitute in the food preparation.
- NSML – no salt meal containing no salted food prepared on request.
- ORML – Oriental meal prepared on request it is food cooked in oriental style like Chinese/ Japanese.
- PRML – Low purine meal for passengers with high blood uric levels offal, giblets, smoked and gout sufferers are avoided, while fish, milk products, legumes and pulses are included.
- RVML – Raw vegetarian meal prepared on request contains all fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, cottage cheese and all cooked food is avoided.
- SFML – Sea food meal on request meal with seafood served as appetizers or main course.
- SPML – Special meal on request with food made according to individuals medical requirement or choice.
- ST VGML – Strict vegetarian meal on request basically it’s a Brahmin meal prepared without the use of onions and garlic and with all other vegetarian stuff.
- VEGAN ML – Vegan meal on request meal containing fruits and vegetables, nuts and pulses avoiding non-veg and milk products.
- VLML – Veg lacto meal on request meal with veg meal and dairy products while avoiding meat, fish, poultry and eggs.
- VGML – Vegetarian meal on request prepared in any style like Chinese/ Indian etc excluding meat, eggs and fish.
These are some of the assigned codes for meal used or delivered on board in an airline by the catering department.