invention

Burrito Tape: Maryland Engineering Students Design Food Adhesive

“One of my favorite foods is burritos and wraps. I’m a student-athlete, so I’m not looking to make a skimpy burrito. I’m really trying to fill it with substance, and so I would tend to get frustrated when I would be trying to wrap it and the contents would be getting everywhere"

NBC Universal, Inc.

If your burrito-wrapping skills aren’t quite restaurant-ready, a group of Maryland college students may have a solution: burrito tape. 

An all-woman team of Johns Hopkins University undergraduates presented a design for what they call Tastee Tape at an engineering school presentation earlier this month. The food-grade adhesive is meant to keep fillings in a burrito, taco, gyro or wrap. The student designers say the tape is edible, safe and strong, and can be used during cooking or consumption.

Student Erin Walsh had the initial idea for Tastee Tape while brainstorming for a product design course, she said Tuesday. 

“One of my favorite foods is burritos and wraps. I’m a student-athlete, so I’m not looking to make a skimpy burrito. I’m really trying to fill it with substance, and so I would tend to get frustrated when I would be trying to wrap it and the contents would be getting everywhere,” she said. 

Walsh and fellow chemical and biomolecular engineering students Marie Eric, Tyler Guarino and Rachel Nie studied adhesives and worked on a prototype for the entire school year. 

Tastee Tape has no texture or taste, Nie said. The students made the tape in strips a half-inch to 2 inches wide, affixed to sheets of waxed paper. To use a strip, you pull it off the sheet, wet it to activate the adhesive and apply it.

They declined to say what the tape is made of because they’re working with university officials to apply for a patent. 

The students said they aren’t sure if they’ll launch a startup to sell their product -- they’re about to graduate and have jobs and graduate programs lined up. But they said they would be open to selling the patent down the line. 

“There’s nothing like this product on the market. We are the only edible tape," Nie said.

After seeing significant interest in Tastee Tape, Nie said she thinks there’s a larger lesson: “Never disregard silly ideas.”

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