Featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
What comes to mind when you think about the most important inventions of the past millennium? Maybe the wheel, the compass, the printing press, or penicillin? While life would feel unimaginable without these innovations today, they’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the devices and technologies that make our lives livable. Other top-ranking picks include the internal combustion system (making cars possible), the light bulb, and the telephone.
Essential to daily life, these inventions make each day easier and better. After all, could you imagine a world without antibiotics? Or one where you had to pull a horse out of the barn to go somewhere? One thing’s for sure, humans have a long history of dreaming up incredible creations, and we’re seriously over the moon about the most recent one: Tastee Tape.
— Nerdist (@nerdist) May 18, 2022
Here’s what you need to know about the invention you’ll never want to live without, especially if burrito leakage has got you down.
The Burrito Conundrum
Eleven percent of all restaurants in the U.S. serve Mexican food, and approximately 25 percent of these fall into the fast food category, including Taco Bell, Qdoba Mexican Eats, and Chipotle Mexican Grill (via Brizo FoodMetrics). In other words, America boasts more Mexican restaurants than Chinese kitchens, Italian bistros, or seafood shacks. Of course, the cuisine is so delish, these statistics contain few surprises.
But some Mexican-inspired cuisine can get pretty messy, especially when you’re attempting to eat after exiting a drive-thru. At the top of the sloppy list sits the iconic burrito — a food we can’t get enough of despite the fact it likes to find its way onto the front of clothes and into laps. No matter how big the tortilla is, when stuffed with our favorite goodies, it seems to bust at the seams at the most inopportune times. This translates into burrito leakage, which is never a good thing.
Taming the Notoriously Messy Burrito
Enter an enterprising group of students from John Hopkins University. To make the world a better place, they decided to tame Mexican food’s messiest on-the-go meal with a revolutionary breakthrough: edible tape. After plenty of trial and error, the Whiting School of Engineering students designed a game-changing eating aid, which they dubbed “Tastee Tape.”
Burrito fillings: secured
Let’s taco’bout Tastee Tape, an edible adhesive created by biomolecular and chemical engineering students which allows for a mess-free meal for wraps, gyros, and more. (2/6) pic.twitter.com/HB1o6VBHVB
— Johns Hopkins University (@JohnsHopkins) May 10, 2022
Described unappetizingly as a “fibrous scaffold,” the students are looking to patent the best Mexican food accessory since pico de gallo, per KOMO News. Tyler Guarino, one member of the team, explained that the adhesive contains ingredients that are all food grade and safe to consume. What’s more, they’re commonly used dietary additives. Best of all, the tape is activated by moisture and designed to stay in place, even during the cooking process. That means no more microwave scrubbing after a reheated burrito explosion!
The invention has other applications, too. It’s already shown excellent promise when it comes to wrangling soft tacos and keeping wraps of various types in one piece. And the students believe the tape may have applications for just about any food that requires securing. In other words, it has the potential to change the way we interact with messy foods forever. Move over, Thomas Edison!
By Engrid Barnett, contributor for Ripleys.com