Are Hot Cheetos Halal?

Photo Courtesy: Calgary Reviews

Hot Cheetos is a very well known snack, enjoyed by many, however the topic we’d like to discuss is whether it is halal and permissible to consume.

Since we did not have a definitive answer, we decided to do a bit of research ourselves and find out what people are saying. Not only that, be we reached out to PepsiCo (who owns the Cheetos brand) and ask them whether Hot Cheetos or any of their chips in their line-up is halal.

PepsiCo Confirms that Hot Cheetos and the regular Cheetos are not Halal because of the animal enzymes used. . Avoid snacks that list “cheese” and “whey” as ingredients in their chips, because the source of those ingredients are not necessarily halal.

PepsiCo Tells Us That Hot Cheetos Is Not Halal

We wanted a confirmation from PepsiCo, the owner of the Cheetos brand, as to whether they can confirm that these chips are halal.

Here’s the email we sent to PepsiCo.


Hope Your day is going well.

I wanted to know if the hot cheetos or any of the cheetos chips are halal? if not, what ingredient used does not qualify it to be halal?

Thank you, much appreciated!!

Halal Guidance Team

Their Consumer Relations Representative Responded to us saying:


Thank you for contacting PepsiCo . All our Cheetos flavors have animal enzymes

If you want to avoid these enzymes, you might want to avoid our snacks that list “cheese” and “whey” as ingredients.  Only a few snacks have animal flavours and they will be listed on the ingredient statement, not hidden under “natural flavours.”  

Our non-seasoned, salted-only snacks, such as Lay’s Classic, Ruffles Original, Fritos, Tostitos, Original SunChips and Rold Gold Pretzels, do not have enzymes of any kind.

Thank you again for choosing Frito Lay snacks.  We will continue to provide the information you need to make safe, great-tasting choices.

Best regards,

PepsiCo Consumer Relations Representative

Why Are Animal Enzymes Not Always Halal

Photo Courtesy: Alistair Young

From what we could gather, when talking about animal enzymes it is more focused around animal rennet. Animal Rennet is an enzyme used in the food industry to prepare cheese by curdling milk. Rennet is extracted by the stomach of a calf or an animal (source).

To extract the rennet, they need to slaughter the animal. This is where things become questionable in terms of a food or chips being halal or not.

According to halallife, Scholars agree if the animal slaughter was halal, then the Rennet will be halal. However, Hanafis (students of Imam Abu Hanifa- Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad) believe that if the animal was not slaughtered in accordance with islamic law, then the rennet itself as a substance is halal, but consuming it is Haram. This is because of the contamination with other impure substance found in the stomach of the animal (source).

Different Countries Will Use Different Ingredients

Please be mindful that the information is above is solely tailored to Hot Cheetos offered in the US and Canadian markets. Islamic countries like the UAE, Qatar, Saudia Arabia etc change their manufacturing process to be compliant with the countries laws and will be Halal.

What Alternative Chips Can You Consume That Do Not Contain Rennet?

In accordance to the response we received from PepsiCo, the following chips do not contain animal enzymes. However before purchasing any of these chips, we do recommend that you do your due diligence and research the ingredients on any of the chips below to make sure you’re ok with consuming any of the ingredients.

These alternatives do not contains enzymes of any kind.

1- Lay’s Classic

Check out Lay’s Classic on Amazon (link to Amazon)

2- Ruffles Original

Check out Ruffles Original on Amazon (link to Amazon)

3- Fritos

Check out Fritos Original on Amazon (link to Amazon)

4- Original SunChips

Check out Original SunChips on Amazon (link to Amazon)

5- Rold Gold Pretzels

Check out Rold Gold Pretzels on Amazon (link to Amazon)

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