The immensely popular flavor of Hot Cheetos, a crunchy and cheesy corn snack, has become the most adored and preferred flavor by Cheetos enthusiasts. People of various age groups, including both children and adults, have developed a fondness for these snacks due to the delightful fusion of spicy heat and cheesy goodness.
Considering its popularity across the world, the brand has faced a lot of controversies over time. One such controversy is ‘Does Cheetos contain pork?’ In this post, we will see whether the allegation is true or not with facts.
Do Cheetos Actually Contain Pork?
Cheetos is a popular brand of chips. However, the actual ingredients of the small bumpy chips may surprise you.
Numerous snacks with a cheese flavor incorporate enzymes derived from different sources, which can include both animal and vegetable origins. Generally speaking, certain Cheetos products might contain pork, although the majority of them do not.
What Does Cheetos Contain? Are There Any Hidden Ingredients
The majority of leading food companies maintain confidentiality over their recipes and ingredients, refraining from publishing them.
The main reason behind this secrecy is to safeguard against competitors duplicating and producing identical-tasting products, which would negatively impact their market position. This practice is widespread and is permissible under federal law.
However, you can find most ingredients on the packet’s label. On that note, let’s take a look at the main ingredients of Hot Cheetos:
- Corn Meal
- Vegetable Oil
- Hot Cheetos Seasoning which is made of: Salt, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin (made from corn), Monosodium Glutamate, Artificial Color, Citric Acid, Sunflower Oil, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Cheddar Cheese, Whey Protein, Buttermilk, Disodium Inosinate, Sodium Diacetate, and Disodium Guanylate.
By looking at the ingredients you can see that there isn’t any hidden pork derivative. It does contain cheddar cheese which might have rennet that comes from a pig. However, Frito Lays openly claims that rennet is present in Cheetos, but it is from non-porcine sources.
Which Cheetos Flavors Do Not Contain Pork Enzymes?
As mentioned before, not all flavors of Cheetos contain pork enzymes. In order to make sure everyone can enjoy their snacks, Frito Lays has removed pork enzymes from many of its products.
Currently, there are plenty of Cheetos products that are pork-free:
- Cheetos Puffs Cheese Flavored
- Cheetos Puffs Flaming Hot Cheese Flavored
- Cheetos Cheddar Flavored Popcorn
- Cheetos Baked Crunchy Cheese Flavored
- Cheetos Crunchy Cheese Flavored
There are other varieties too that are pork-free, so it’s best to look at the label next time before buying.
Why Are Pork Enzymes Used in Snacks?
Porcine enzymes, commonly known as pork enzymes, serve a distinct role in certain cheese-flavored snacks. They contribute to creating the delectable and robust cheese flavor found in the cheese seasonings used on popular snacks.
Pork enzymes are used to speed up the process of converting milk into cheese. Aside from pork, enzymes from other animals are also used for this process.
Due to cultural, religious, and dietary constraints, Frito Lay is moving forward with replacing pork enzymes with other derivatives.
Is Cheetos Halal?
Food items that Muslims can consume come under the category of Halal. The consumption of pigs is not considered Halal in Islam.
Keeping that in mind, even though some Cheetos Flavors including Hot Cheetos do not contain any pig-based enzyme, it being Halal is still a question mark.
Cheetos do contain rennet that comes from other animals, but if those animals are not slaughtered according to a set of protocols, it would then become Haram (not Halal). In that case, Cheetos would be unfit for consumption by a Muslim.
Is Cheetos Vegan?
Even though Cheetos do not contain pork-based enzymes does not make it vegetarian. If you look at the ingredients mentioned above, you can see that it contains cheddar cheese which has rennet. The rennet is obtained from cattle other than pigs.
Because of rennet, Cheetos are not considered a vegan food. Take a look at some of the best low-FODMAP snacks.
In conclusion, we can infer that Cheetos does contain pork. To be precise, some flavors of Cheetos contain pork-based enzymes, and this does not include Hot Cheetos. Some popular flavors are free from porcine enzymes.
People who have a particular religious ideology or are vegan should avoid consuming these snacks.