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‘Mask Pan’: Japanese lab creates the first edible face mask

Putting an idea into practice sometimes takes a little audacity. That’s something that three Japanese students with a passion for melon pan know all about.

The trio dreamed up the idea of being able to smell the sweet aromas of this bakery specialty all day long. However, they needed the help of an experimental laboratory, helmed by Goku no Kimochi The Labo, to put their idea into practice, developing the very first edible face mask. Hopefully, melon pan fans won’t be too put off by the bacteria the mask collects throughout the day, as it nevertheless fulfills its primary function.

face mask
The Melon Pan face mask. Image: courtesy of The LABO via ETX Daily Up

So why melon pan? This bakery specialty is highly popular in Japan, and is more or less halfway between a brioche and a cookie. It can even come in different flavors, from pineapple to chocolate. And what could be more appetizing than spending the day with the sweet smell of chocolate stuck to your face?

You might think that this mask is a gimmick that serves no purpose other than to make people laugh. But, scoff as you might, it appears that this mask has passed the effectiveness tests of the Unitika Garmentec Research Institute with flying colors, which theoretically means that it’s an effective face covering. Incredible, but true!

In fact, the “Mask Pan” even supposedly ensures a level of protection equivalent or superior to commercial face masks when it comes to blocking the transmission of the droplets and other projections that can spread COVID-19.

Still, the mask is likely to be marketed in a lighthearted way. The aim, after all, is to help as many people as possible accept this restrictive measure with a smile — as seen at an event organized to distribute and test this original product. In Japan, “Mask Pan” will be available to buy from June 10 at the price of 1,800 yen (about $16.45 or around P790) for five pieces. IB


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