Do Cheetos Have Pork in Them? The Real Truth

Cheetos — everyone’s favorite cheesy snack. Crunchy, puffy, and delicious, we all fall for this “dangerously cheesy” delight that never fails to elevate a game night or party. Much like Crumbl Cookies, Cheetos are universally adored.

But despite how popular and beloved they are, no one really knows everything that Cheetos contain. I doubt that most Cheetos lovers could name even three items from the ingredient list by memory.

Even so, some people with dietary restrictions — be they allergies, medical conditions, or religious beliefs — may wonder exactly what Cheetos contain. Today, we are going to answer some important questions: Do Cheetos have pork in them? Do hot Cheetos have pork? What chips have pork? Do Cheetos contain any pork at all?

Table of Contents:

Cheetos and Pork — The Real Truth

Cheetos and Pork

Because of recent changes in health procedures and expectations, many people have begun to wonder exactly what Cheetos are made with and what they contain. Aside from corn meal, vegetable oil, cheddar seasoning, and maltodextrin, it can be hard to decipher exactly what’s in the cheesy snack.

To make Cheetos, corn and water are blended together. To ensure no contamination happens, the germ of the corn is removed and turned into cornmeal. The cornmeal is then fed into a pneumatic tube and heated up in metal plates by friction.

Once the cornmeal reaches its boiling point, the friction causes it to pop like popcorn and gives Cheetos their iconic shape and texture. Then, the Cheetos are coated in the iconic cheese powder — made from lactic acid, citric acid, whey, yellow dye #6, vitamin B, vegetable oil, salt, MSG, sugar, and more.

And despite how beloved and adored this iconic snack is, people still have some questions: do Cheetos have pork in them? For the most part, the answer is no. Most varieties of Cheetos do not contain any pork.

Pork as Ingredient?

While pork is not listed as an ingredient on Cheetos packages, some Frito-Lay products contain pork products or other substances derived from animals. That being said, it looks like most Cheetos products do not have any pork in them.

The “pork” that’s found in some Cheetos products is actually pork enzymes, or other enzymes and additives derived from animals. The most popular of these additives is rennet, an enzyme-based additive that is incredibly popular in making cheese.

Rennet is derived from a classification of animals known as ruminants, such as cows, goats, and sheep. Pigs are not ruminants and do not produce rennet. Therefore, if a food (such as Cheetos) contains rennet, that does not mean that they contain pork enzymes.

So while there is no actual pork meat in any of the Cheetos varieties, some of them do contain enzymes and flavors that have been derived from pigs.

But do hot Cheetos have pork?

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are one of the varieties that likely contain pork enzymes, and pork enzymes may also be present in the Cheddar Jalapeno variety. So even though most Cheetos brands do not contain pork enzymes, the Flamin’ Hot variety does.

Other common snacks contain pork and pig products, especially in the form of gelatin. One of the most popular of these is Rice Krispy Treats.

back to menu ↑

Are Cheetos Gluten-free?

Millions of people across the world are either allergic to or have an intolerance for gluten. When these people ingest gluten, it can cause them a lot of digestive problems and other health issues — namely for people who have Celiac disease.

That’s why it’s increasingly important that we know what’s in our food. And luckily, Cheetos are completely gluten-free. Frito-Lay has done testing to ensure that Cheetos have less than 20ppm of gluten content. While Cheetos are not technically 100% free of gluten, they are still considered gluten-free because they meet the FDA’s requirements.

However, since there can still be trace amounts of gluten in Cheetos, it may be best for those with extreme gluten allergies to avoid them just to be safe.

back to menu ↑

Are Cheetos Vegan?

No, Cheetos are not vegan. Because the cheddar seasoning contains an enzyme-based animal product called rennet, Cheetos cannot be considered vegan. Many varieties of Cheetos also contain cheddar cheese, whey, or even buttermilk, which are all dairy products.

Additionally, many of the most popular cheese flavorings are created using products derived from animals and therefore cannot be considered vegan. However, there are many different brands and types of chips that do not use any animal products and can therefore be considered vegan.

back to menu ↑

What Chips Have Pork In Them?

The Frito-Lay company has a list on its website detailing all of the chips that do not contain any pork enzymes, and most of the items are on this list. So even though many Frito-Lay chips may contain rennet — an enzyme-based ingredient that’s derived from animals — most of their chips do not contain pork enzymes.

However, there is one notable exception: Baken-Ets are Frito-Lay’s version of pork rinds. Pork rinds are essentially pig skins that are fried until they’re crispy like a chip. They are incredibly popular and have been for decades. And although most of the Frito-Lay products might not contain pork, Baken-Ets come straight from pigs and should be avoided by those trying to stay away from pork.

back to menu ↑

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Cheetos have meat in them?

Yes, Cheetos contain enzyme-based additives that come from animals. Since Cheetos are created using enzyme-based animal products, they are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. Many chips like Cheetos are created using rennet, which is an additive derived from the stomachs of certain animals.

back to menu ↑

What types of Cheetos are available?

There are many different types of Cheetos flavors to choose from, and most of them are incredibly popular. While the original flavor is still the most popular, Frito-Lay has had decades to think of new flavors. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones:

1. Crunchy Cheetos — crunchy, cheesy, and delicious, the original Cheetos are by far the most popular and successful of the bunch.
2. XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos — incredibly spicy, this variety is reserved only for those with the highest tolerance
3. Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos — with just a touch of spiciness, this variety is perfect for a party or those who want just a hint of hotness
4. Flamin’ Hot — though not quite as spicy as the XXTRA variety, the Flamin’ Hot still pack quite a punch
5. Cheetos Puffs — light, airy, and puffy, Cheetos Puffs are a perfectly light and crispy snack
6. Simply Crunchy White Cheddar Cheese Cheetos — different from the normal cheddar variety, these are perfect for more health-conscious snackers
7. Baked Crunchy Cheetos — baked rather than fried, these Cheetos are perfectly light and contain less fat than the traditional variety

There are dozens of different flavors and varieties to choose from, and all of them offer something different than the others. Some of them are spicy, some of them have lime flavoring, and others are all natural.

back to menu ↑

Why do regular Cheetos make my stomach hurt?

Regular Cheetos are fried and contain quite a bit of fat. If your stomach hurts after eating Cheetos, it could be a sign of gallbladder malfunction. Since the gallbladder’s job is to break down fatty foods, pain, bloating, or nausea after eating fatty foods like Cheetos could be a sign that your gallbladder is not functioning properly or is possibly inflamed.

When it comes to the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, eating too many of them can cause the lining in your stomach to be irritated. Because of the high acidity levels of these chips, they can cause stomach pain and nausea.

back to menu ↑

Do Cheetos have dairy in them?

Yes, all varieties of Cheetos contain dairy in the form of milk derivatives, and some contain more dairy products than others. Certain variants of Cheetos contain cheddar cheese, whey, or buttermilk. While none of the Cheetos variants contain traditional milk or cheese products, they are still derived from dairy. Because of the dairy content and the use of enzyme-based animal derivatives, Cheetos are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

back to menu ↑

What chips do not have any animal products?

While many Frito-Lay products do contain enzyme-based animal products, most of the plain, salted chips are free from any animal products. Classic Lay’s, original Fritos, Tostitos, original SunChips, and Rold Gold Pretzels are all examples of chips that are free from animal-derived products and additives.

back to menu ↑


Even though Cheetos are one of the most popular snacks ever made, some of what’s in them remains a mystery. However, even though we may not know exactly what goes into them or every part of the cooking process, it’s true that Cheetos do not have pork in them. That being said, they do contain an animal-based enzyme known as rennet that comes from animals such as cows, sheep, and goats.

Gluten-free but not vegetarian or vegan-friendly, this cheesy and delicious snack remains one of the most popular for children and adults alike, and they will most likely stay that way for a very long time.

Shanny not only has an exceptional understanding of the foodie mindset and how nutrition works, she has also achieved her Master’s Degree in Education. Outside of her academic achievements, she loves writing food blogs. It's so much more than a list of meals though! Shanny creates helpful cookware guides and delicious recipes that are easy to follow. She does all of this as a food blog writer because she loves it. That's why she spends lots of time testing out different recipes in her own home. She truly is a one-of-a-kind foodie, from her home to yours - with a story to tell, new recipes to indulge in and new tips to tantalize those tastebuds.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply