Don't be a drip! New edible food tape makes messy burritos a thing of the past
[May 23, 2022: Lisa Ercolano, Johns Hopkins University]
Students has created Tastee Tape, an edible adhesive that ensures the ingredients in your favorite wrap are kept tucked tightly inside. (CREDIT: SWNS)
It's one of life's most delicious anticipatory moments, but also among the messiest: The burrito (or taco, or gyro, or wrap) is almost in your mouth when the beans and rice and guacamole and salsa fall from the tortilla onto the table—or worse, your lap.
Inspired by their own experiences with messy lunches, a team of chemical and biomolecular engineering students has created Tastee Tape, an edible adhesive comprising a food-grade fibrous scaffold and an organic adhesive that ensures the ingredients in your favorite wrap are kept tucked tightly inside during cooking and consumption.
"First, we learned about the science around tape and different adhesives, and then we worked to find edible counterparts," said Tyler Guarino, who teamed up with fellow engineering seniors Marie Eric, Rachel Nie, and Erin Walsh on the project.
The team tested a "multitude" of ingredients and combinations before settling on a final recipe, which is edible, safe, and has the tensile strength you can trust to hold together a fat burrito.
Because they are applying for a patent, team members declined to disclose their secret formula.
Tastee Tape is a clear, edible tape that keeps wraps closed when eating. Blue dye has been added to the tape in the image on the right to better illustrate its use. (CREDIT: Tastee Tape team)
"What I can say is that all its ingredients are safe to consume, are food grade, and are common food and dietary additives," Guarino said.
Months spent prototyping resulted in rectangular strips measuring half an inch by two inches. These come affixed to sheets of waxed paper. To use, simply remove a strip from the sheet, wet thoroughly to activate, and apply to your lunch, dinner, or favorite snack. The team members put their invention to the test on "too many burritos to count," but are confident in the quality of their product.
"Tastee Tape allows you to put full faith in your tortilla, and enjoy your meal, mess-free," Guarino said.
The innovation was showcased at Whiting School of Engineering’s Design Day, in which more than 400 students from across all nine of the Engineering school’s academic departments, as well as its Center for Leadership Education, participate.
For more science and technology stories check out our New Innovations section at The Brighter Side of News.
Note: Materials provided above by Johns Hopkins University. Content may be edited for style and length.
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