In our website, we have reviewed many of the famous snacks such as Doritos, Sunchips, Chex mix, Lays, to shed light on their ingredients to know whether or not they are vegan-friendly. While researching many of the well-known food items and their manufacturing process, we know that many of them are selling their products as vegan, but the ingredient list is telling something else.
So, it’s always the wisest decision to thoroughly check each food item’s ingredient list before making a purchase. And, as we always try to bring nothing but the truth in front of you, we never get tired of conducting detailed research on various products. So, today we are going to discover the mystery behind Cheetos, one of the best-selling snacks of all time.
Let’s see if there are any vegan hot Cheetos or something is going on behind the curtain.
What Are Cheetos?
Cheetos are cheese puff snacks. Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, makes this a famous snack brand. The creator of Fritos, Charles Elmer Doolin first created Cheetos in 1948. Cheetos’s success was surely one of the reasons behind the amalgamation of two companies, H.W Lay and the Frito Company. Together they formed Frito-Lay in 1961.
Just after four years, Frito-Lay became a subsidiary of the huge Pepsi-Cola and formed Pepsi-Co, the current Cheetos owner.
The Cheetos brand was the top-selling cheese puffs brand in the United States in 2010. This great achievement contributed to the enlargement of the product line, including 21 various types of this snack alone in North America.
Cheetos are available in more than 36 countries, so, based on regional and cultural preference, some of the unique flavors were being added, which are available in specific areas of the globe.
Like, you will find Strawberry flavored Cheetos in Japan and Savory American Cream in China.
Are Cheetos Vegan?
No, Cheetos are not vegan. Some of the flavors of Cheetos are not vegetarian even. Cheetos contact animal enzymes. There are animal products added in the making of Cheetos. Vegan people cannot have Cheetos as it includes dairy products. There are several milk products, including cheese. The whey protein concentrate, cheddar cheese, buttermilk are non-vegan products. For vegetarians, they could get some flavors that are free of pork enzymes. So, they are good for vegetarians.
Are Hot Cheetos Vegan?
If you’re wondering, ‘are flaming hot Cheetos vegan?’, then sorry to tell you, they are not.
Whey protein concentrate is being used in the making of Flaming hot Cheetos. Apart from that, it includes whey, buttermilk, and cheddar cheese even, making it a complete no for vegans. Several milk products do not make this product non-vegan. They have also made this flavor not suitable for lactose-intolerant people.
The ‘real cheese’ part is very disturbing nowadays as many of the snack brands have come forward to resemble the taste of cheese without using actual cheese in their snacks.
Cheetos Ingredients List
The actual ingredient list has been included here to bring forth all the ingredients which are problematic for vegans.
Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, or Sunflower Oil), Flamin’ Hot Seasoning (Maltodextrin [Made From Corn], Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Artificial Color [Red 40 (check vegan status), Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5], Sunflower Oil, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Onion Powder, Whey, Whey Protein Concentrate, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavor, Buttermilk, Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate), and Salt.
The Cheetos ingredient list clearly states that Cheetos contain milk ingredients, such as buttermilk and cheddar cheese. Apart from that, Cheetos flavors also contain a lot of food coloring additives, which are quite confusing ingredients amongst the vegan community.
Also Read: Is E631 Flavor-Enhancer Vegan Food Additive?
Vegan Alternative to Cheetos
Cheetos are made from whey, which is again a milk-derived product. Although whether or not whey is vegan-friendly is a matter of personal choice, other ingredients of Cheetos are enough to cut it off from any vegan menu.
Yes, it is undoubtedly sad news to discover Cheetos are not vegan, but there is nothing to be disappointed about. Many popular vegan brands are making yummy vegan-friendly snacks.
And the good news is that many, not vegan brands have also incorporated dedicated vegan lines to create tasty vegan flavors. Some of the vegan alternatives to Cheetos are listed down below –
1. Vegan Rob’s Cheddar Puffs
This is a certified vegan product that contains no dairy. They are also gluten-free snacks, which offer a lot of flavors.
2. Hippeas’ Vegan White Cheddar
These snacks offer you the goodness of organic chickpeas. They are vegan-friendly and delicious.
3. Peatos’ Fiery Hot
If you’re searching for a healthier version of Cheetos, then this product is made for you. They are very crunchy, and the flavor resembles the flaming hot version of Cheetos.
It is truly disheartening to know that a popular brand like Cheetos with an excellent reputation has not incorporated a vegan’s flavor. But many companies are concerned about the ethical plant-based diet and are making flavorful snacks for any time of the day.
It’s time that we take big steps to appreciate the vegan companies, be it small or well-known, making organic snacks without making the lives of other animals miserable.