If your burrito-wrapping skills aren’t quite restaurant-ready, a group of college students in Maryland may have a solution: burrito tape.
An all-female team of Johns Hopkins University undergraduates pitched a design for what they call Tastee Tape at an engineering school presentation earlier this month. The food-grade adhesive is for keeping toppings in a burrito, taco, gyro, or wrap. The design students say the ribbon is edible, safe and strong, and can be used while cooking or eating.
Student Erin Walsh had the initial idea for Tastee Tape while brainstorming for a product design class, she said Tuesday.
“One of my favorite dishes is the burrito and the wrap. I’m a student athlete, so I’m not looking to make a skimpy burrito. I really try to fill it with substance, so I would tend to get frustrated when I try to pack it and the stuff gets all over the place,” 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. Students made the ribbon in strips half an inch to 2 inches wide, affixed to sheets of waxed paper. To use a strip, you peel 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 are working with university officials to file for a patent.
The students said they weren’t sure if they would launch a startup to sell their product. they are about to graduate and have jobs and graduate programs. But they said they would be open to selling the patent down the line.
“There is nothing comparable to this product on the market. We are the only edible ribbon,” Nie said.
After seeing significant interest in Tastee Tape, Nie said she thinks there’s a bigger lesson: “Never overlook silly ideas.”