Engineering Students Invent Edible Tape for Burritos

Anyone who enjoys eating a burrito has most likely experienced the inevitable collapse of the tortilla wrap at least once, which can be pretty annoying. That's why a group of students at Johns Hopkins University set out to find a solution to this problem, resulting in an edible tape for burritos called Tastee Tape.

The invention was debuted at Johns Hopkins University's Engineering Design Day on May 3—an annual event where students from the Whiting School of Engineering demonstrate their prototype projects. Seniors Tyler Guarino, Marie Eric, Rachel Nie, and Erin Walsh were inspired to take their invention in a culinary direction. Their collective background in chemical and biomolecular engineering helped them create an edible tape made from “food-grade fibrous scaffold,” meaning it is completely safe to eat after it adheres to a food.

“First, we learned about the science around tape and different adhesives, and then we worked to find edible counterparts,” Guarino explains. The team went through multiple recipes and test trials until they landed on a winning combination. Tastee Tape is presented in short two-inch strips affixed to wax paper. When you want to use it, you simply pull the strip off the sheet, add water to activate its adhesive qualities, and apply it to the wrap. At the moment, the students are in the process of applying for a patent, and cannot divulge their secret formula for this useful product. “What I can say is that all its ingredients are safe to consume, are food grade, and are a common food and dietary additives.”