Are Hot Cheetos Vegan?


hot cheetos vegan

Most people are aware that original Cheetos are not suitable for vegans, because they contain cheese. Although cheese is not always dairy-based, orange cancer powder is most troublesome for vegans.

We get many queries if the tasty variety of Cheetos is vegan. They have a red coating on the outer side, in place of the regular orange cheesy layer.

Are they vegan? No, spicy Cheetos, or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, are not vegan. They have a powder coating that has many milk-based elements, and that particular thing makes them non-vegan.

Here we will check the details of specific ingredients that make flaming’ Hot Cheetos non-vegan and also mention any vegan-friendly options available on the market.

Why Spicy Cheetos Are Non-Vegan

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (Original)

These contain

  • Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, And Folic Acid)
  • Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and Sunflower Oil)
  • Maltodextrin (Made from Corn)
  • Sugar
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Yeast Extract
  • Citric Acid
  • Artificial Color Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5
  • Cheddar Cheese Milk
  • Cheese Cultures
  • Enzymes
  • Onion Powder, Garlic Powder
  • Whey and Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Natural Flavor
  • Buttermilk
  • Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate
  • Salt

We are asked quite often if vegans can consume dairy derivatives like whey and casein. These two proteins are found the most in milk. People asking this are new to the subject of vegan diets. Either they are not aware that those proteins are derived from milk, or they think that the vegan diet is a health movement.

If it is a health movement, then it makes sense to think whether vegans should isolate them from milk, especially if they are free of fat and cholesterol.

But sorry to say, all dairy derivatives are not suitable for vegans. The vegan diet stipulates avoid all animal-based food products, however small they may be.

Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Limon

Ingredients include

  • Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid)
  • Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola and Sunflower Oil)
  • Salt and Sugar
  • Monosodium Glutamate, Yeast Extract
  • Citric Acid
  • Artificial Color (Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5)
  • Corn Syrup Solids
  • Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Maltodextrin (Made from Corn)
  • Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures*, Salt, and Enzymes)
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Onion Powder, Garlic Powder
  • Whey
  • Lime Juice
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Natural Flavor
  • Buttermilk
  • Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate

Sometimes, people ask if cheese cultures are vegan or not. It’s not clear from the name. Are cultures made from cheese or used to make cheese?

“Cheese cultures” are a group of bacteria strains used for making a specific type of cheese. There are some vegan-friendly cheese cultures. Here, the product still contains milk, buttermilk, and milk proteins, so it does not matter.

Cheetos Crunchy XXTRA Flamin’ Hot

Ingredients include

  • Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
  • Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and Sunflower Oil)
  • Salt, Sugar
  • Maltodextrin Made from Corn, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein
  • Yeast Extract and Monosodium Glutamate
  • Citric Acid
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Artificial Color Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Enzymes
  • Onion and Garlic Powders
  • Cheese Cultures
  • Corn Syrup Solid
  • Sodium Diacetate
  • Whey
  • Natural Flavor
  • Buttermilk

Here we have many objectionable ingredients. Buttermilk is a usual ingredient in such processed foods. It doesn’t contain butter, but it’s the milk with the butter removed. It provides a smooth feel in the mouth with a tangy flavor.

Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Puffs

The UK version of this puffy variety is vegan. But, in the US, they have several milk-based products.

This contains

  • Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, And Folic Acid)
  • Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola and Sunflower Oil)
  • Maltodextrin Made from Corn
  • Salt and Sugar
  • Artificial Colors: Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Yeast Extract
  • Citric Acid
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Milk
  • Cheese Cultures, Salt, and Enzymes
  • Sodium Caseinate*
  • Hydrolyzed Corn Protein
  • Garlic and Onion Powders
  • Whey
  • Natural Flavor
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Buttermilk
  • Corn Syrup Solids
  • Sodium Diacetate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate
  • Skim Milk

*Sodium caseinate is the chemical name for a form of casein, the most prevalent protein in milk. Casein precipitates out to form cheese curds.

I often get queries if Sodium caseinate is vegan. Because they think that sodium is vegan so this ingredient is also most likely vegan, but please note that caseinate in any form like sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, etc. is not suitable for vegans.

The Best Vegan Hot Cheetos Alternative

Although they are legume-based, it is nice to know that they have a texture very similar to Cheetos and are an excellent alternative for Vegans. Like many vegan alternatives, they use better quality ingredients, so and are not an exact copy. You may or may not like it as per your preferences.

These contain

  • A Pulse Flour Blend (Pea Flour, Lentil Flour, Faba Bean Protein, and Pea Fiber)
  • High Oleic Sunflower and Safflower Oil
  • Maltodextrin
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Citric Acid
  • Yeast Extract
  • Vegetable Juice (for Color)
  • Malic Acid
  • Natural Flavor
  • Annatto Extract (for Color)
  • Natural Smoke Flavor

However, the original non-spicy variety of the snack contains cheese for sure.

That was the fact file of the vegan status of hot Cheetos. Thanks for reading.

You may also want to check out the following related articles:

References

  1. Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks, 1 oz Bags, 40 Count. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cheetos-Crunchy-Flamin-Hot-Cheese-Flavored-Snacks-1-oz-Bags-40-Count/922908915
  2. Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Limon Cheese Flavored Snacks. https://www.heb.com/product-detail/cheetos-crunchy-flamin-hot-limon-cheese-flavored-snacks/1962877
  3. Cheetos Crunchy XXTRA Flamin’ HotCheeseFlavored Snacks, 8.5 oz Bag. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cheetos-Crunchy-XXTRA-Flamin-HotCheese-Flavored-Snacks-8-5-oz-Bag/49909688
  4. Cheetos Puffs Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks, 8 oz Bag. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cheetos-Puffs-Flamin-Hot-Cheese-Flavored-Snacks-8-oz-Bag/49909697
  5. Peatos, Fiery Hot. https://worldpeasbrand.com/#peatos

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