London (DailyExpertNews) — Four American engineering students were brainstorming the perfect invention for their product design course when lunchtime inspiration – literally – fell into their lap.
“Erin was eating a burrito and the tortilla opened all over her body,” one of the four, Tyler Guarino, told DailyExpertNews. “It hit her then — this is a problem we can solve.”
Guarino, Erin Walsh, Marie Eric and Rachel Nie were seniors at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore when they embarked on their mission last year to create an edible tape that could hold wraps and burritos together.
Today they are proud of their prototype product called “Tastee Tape”.
Guarino said the team spent months studying “regular tape” and the elements that make up it — a backbone that holds the structure together and an adhesive that makes it stick to surfaces — to try to find their “edible counterparts.” .
They had three main criteria for their tape: it had to be clear and colorless, have no taste and have no noticeable texture. After testing different combinations, they came up with the magical recipe, which is also gluten-free and suitable for vegans.
Tastee Tape is transparent and colorless.
“We tested about 50 different formulations” before finding the winning recipe “Tastee Tape,” Guarino says.
The exact ingredients are a closely guarded secret due to a pending patent application, but the team says everything used is “edible, food-safe, GRASS [generally recognized as safe]and are common food ingredients or additives.”
There are three easy steps to using Tastee Tape, explains Guarino. The first is peeling off a strip of the sheet of wax paper. Then moisten it to activate the tape, before finally applying pressure to your tightly wrapped tortilla.
The team’s current prototype consists of adhesive tape on wax paper, but they also hope to be able to pack it in a roll like regular office tape.
On Monday, the team graduated from college with Guarino, expressing how Tastee Tape’s journey has been “really exciting” so far.
“We learned so much about product design, prototyping and patenting. We are all very grateful that we got this opportunity before graduation because it taught us so many valuable skills,” he said, adding that he and teammate Marie Eric will have another year stay with JHU to get a Master and keep working on the product during that time.
Top image: Tastee Tape painted blue for visibility. The actual tape is colorless. Credit: Tyler Guarino