The orange stuff on Cheetos is a combination of various dyes and seasonings, and it’s the only part of Cheetos that has any cheese whatsoever in it.
Like similar products, the main part of these “cheese” coated chip products is not cheese but a cornmeal concoction.
The cornmeal, with whey and oil added, is mixed into a dough, then squeezed out into a long worm shape by an extruder.
When the dough meets the cooler air, it sort of explodes or puffs, like popcorn. Blades cut it into bite-sized pieces, which are then fried.
From there, the pale white morsels are shaken in colored and flavored powder.
Real cheese, Yellow No. 6, annatto, and turmeric give the pieces that cheesy effect.
A little more salt and vegetable oil are added for sticking power and flavor.
Despite rumors, the powder coating on Cheetos is not toxic, but because it’s brightly colored and relatively loose, it can be lethal to furniture and clothes.