Protect yourself from the virus while breathing in the sweet aroma of Japanese melon pan.

When the coronavirus pandemic started getting serious last year, mask makers decided to lighten the mood with all sorts of weird and wonderful face coverings to help people stay safe while outdoors and inside public spaces.

While everything from wide smiles to imitation bowls of ramen appeared on the face mask scene, there appears to have been a gap in the market for something we’d never even thought about — an edible mask.

Here to fill that hole, and your mouth, is the new Mask Pan (Mask Bread), which doesn’t just look like a real piece of melon pan (melon bread), it actually is one.

▼ Mask x Pan = Mask Pan

Created by the experimental lab run by head massage specialists Goku no Kimochi The Labo, which has four salons around Japan and one in New York, the masks were developed in response to the desires of three bread-loving university students from Fukuoka and Okinawa, who said they dreamed of being able to smell melon bread all the time.

▼ The three students, Chisato Komorita, Tenmi Nagano and Katsumi Ota, live out their dreams in this five-second clip below.

Providing the bread for the “world’s first” edible face mask is Melon de Melon, a popular Tokyo-based melon pan chain with branches scattered all around the country.

While wearing a mask made from Melon Bread might sound like a gimmick, this mask has actually been properly tested for product performance by Unitika Garmentec Research Institute, a third-party testing institute for masks.

According to the results of the test, the melon pan mask provides a level of protection that’s the same or better than commercially available masks in the “splash prevention performance visualisation test”, seen below.

▼ No mask

▼ Commercial mask

▼ Melon pan mask

These results suggest the mask can actually be used as a serious face covering, despite its not-so-serious appearance. For now, though, the company aims to release the product lightheartedly, as “the happiest mask in the world to fulfil the dreams of bread lovers”.

The edible masks, which are obviously best nibbled only on the inside if you plan on both eating and wearing them, will be sold exclusively online from 10 June, for delivery within Japan, in packs of five for 1,800 yen (US$16.44). If you’re outside of Japan and sad about missing out on a melon pan mask, you can try making one at home with some string and your favourite sweet bread, or you can always download this free fish face mask to add a bit of craziness to your mask collection!

Source, images: PR Times 
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