Cheetos are the UK’s favorite corn puff snacks. Cheetos were invented by Charles Elmer Doolin in 1948 and, since then, manufactured and distributed across the globe by Frito-Lay. Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo.
Snacks have been available in the UK since the 1990s and are a portion of favourite junk food. Besides the UK, the snacks are available in more than 35 countries and regions globally.
Cheetos come in a range of products and also, and they differ from country to country to suit the local culture and taste. In the UK, a range of Cheetos flavours is available, which are liked by individuals of every ethnic and religious community, including the UK Muslims. But the question is whether the favourite snacks are halal to eat? In this blog, we will look up the ingredients of the popular snack to ascertain whether it is halal or haram.
Ingredients of Cheetos
As Cheetos products come in a great variety, we will look at the ingredients present in almost every snack product. But some products may or may not include all of the following components. Therefore, it is advisable always to look up the ingredients mix of your product and then seek guidance from your local Islamic scholar.
- Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
- Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, or Sunflower Oil)
- Cheese Seasoning (Whey, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes]
- Canola Oil
- Maltodextrin [Made from Corn]
- Natural and Artificial Flavors
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Monosodium Glutamate
- Lactic Acid
- Citric Acid
- Artificial Colors
- Flavour Enhancers
- Dry Onion
- Soya Sauce Powder
- Dried Garlic
While looking at the ingredients list, many of them, like salt, maize, dried onion and garlic, canola and vegetable oil, etc., are halal, but some, like enzymes and whey, are mushbooh. Mushbooh means that a given food may be halal or haram – that is, it is doubtful whether the food is halal or haram. Still, the nature of others like artificial colours and flavour enhancers is not known.
Islamic Verdict About Halal and Haram
Muslims worldwide seek guidance from Quran and Sunnah for leading their lives according to Islamic teachings. These two primary sources of advice contain timeless principles that modern Muslims can follow without hesitation.
Like its clear guiding principles for all aspects of human life, Quran has clear injunctions when it comes to whether a food or a particular act is halal or haram.
Allah (SWT), in Surah Al Baqarah, has clarified the halal and haram food for Muslims.
“He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 2:173)
(Source of above-cited Quranic Verse: https://quran.com/2/173?translations=84,17,95,101,22,20)
This Quranic verse is the guiding principle for distinguishing halal food from haram in Islam. According to this verse of the Holy Quran, carrion, i.e. dead meat, the blood, and swine (pig) meat, is haram. Also, slaughtering any halal animal and dedicating it to other than Allah is haram.
Are Cheetos Halal or Haram?
As stated above, some products of Cheetos contain mushbooh ingredients like enzymes and whey. Yet the nature of some elements like flavours enhancers and artificial colours is unknown.
If all the ingredients of the given Cheetos snacks are halal, then the product will be halal; otherwise, it will be haram.
How to Recognize Halal Cheetos
The best way to tell if a specific snack is halal or haram is to contact the manufacturer and inquire about all the ingredients used in the snack. Then seek the guidance of your local Islamic scholar about the halal and haram nature of the snack product.
Similarly, look up any halal certifications from Islamic scholars about a particular product. If there is a halal certification from the body, you can enjoy your snacks; otherwise, you better leave them.
In light of the Quran and Sunnah, any product consisting of haram ingredients is haram, whereas if it consists of halal ingredients, the product will be halal. It is advisable to look up its ingredient label before taking a final decision about a product and seek guidance from an established Islamic scholar who can make an informed decision based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.