When four US engineering students were trying to invent the perfect product for their course on product design, lunch inspiration sprang into their lives.
Tyler Guarino, one of the four witnesses to the incident, tells CNN that Erin was eating a burrito when the tortilla ripped open all over her. "It hit her that she was able to solve this problem.
Guarino and Erin Walsh, Marie Eric, and Rachel Nie were seniors at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, when they set out to create edible tape that would hold burritos and wraps together.
Today, they are proud to present their prototype product, called "Tastee Tape."
Guarino stated that the team spent months studying "normal tap" and its components -- a backbone which holds it together, and an adhesive that sticks to surfaces -- in order to discover their "edible equivalents."
The tape had to be transparent and colorless, tasteless and have no texture. After trying out many combinations, they found the perfect recipe that is both gluten-free and suitable for vegans.
Guarino states that they tried about 50 different recipes before settling on the winning recipe for Tastee Tape.
Due to a patent application, the exact ingredients of the product are being kept secret. However, the team claims that all ingredients used are "edible, safe for food, and generally recognized as safe" and can be used in common food additives or ingredients.
Guarino explains that there are only three steps to use Tastee Tape. First, remove a strip of the waxed paper sheet. The next step is to wet it to activate it, and then to apply it to the tightly wrapped tortilla using pressure.
The current prototype is made of tape strips on wax papers. However, the team hopes to wrap it in a roll similar to ordinary office tape.
Guarino, who expressed his excitement over Tastee Tape’s journey so far, graduated from college on Monday.
"We have gained so much knowledge about product design, prototyping and patenting. We are all so grateful for this opportunity.
Top image: Tastee Tape dyed in blue to increase visibility. The tape itself is not colorless. Credit: Tyler Guarino