What Is a Cheeto Made Of?

Cheeto snacks are made out of compressed and flavored corn meal. The corn meal is placed through a series of machines that heat up the starch in the corn meal, causing it to puff up to the iconic Cheeto shape.

Before being processed, the corn meal is stored in standard farming silos near the various Cheeto manufacturing plants. During the cooking process, the corn meal is first processed in a device called an extruder that generates heat via friction to compact and puff the corn meal.

Once this process is complete, the Cheetos are sent through a rapid hot oil bath to fry them. The frying procedure is important because it removes excess moisture from the snack, resulting in a noticeably crunchy texture. The Cheetos are then moved from the frying section to a flavoring station that sprays them with various oils, seasonings and cheese powders. The final stage is a trip along a conveyor belt. This allows the Cheetos to cool and dry, before being sealed in bags and packaged for distribution.

Each Cheeto manufacturing plant conducts regular quality-control sessions to ensure the highest level of satisfaction from each batch. A team meets every 30 minutes to taste a sample of the snacks being produced.