Saturday, March 2, 2024

Consumer group warns of ‘toxic’ ingredients in Cheetos

Bags of Cheetos corn chips contain ingredients that could be toxic, a consumer advocacy group warned.

El Poder del Consumidor (Power of the Consumer) warned against eating cheese and chile flavored Cheetos Torciditos, which are similar in appearance to Crunchy Cheetos sold in the United States.

The group said its analysis showed most of the chips’ 43 ingredients were additives, and isolated THHQ as “a preservative that has been shown to be toxic.” It added that “the poor quality of the product” and its high salt levels made it a bad choice for consumers.

Other ingredients flagged for concern were the additive monosodium glutamate which it said “has been shown to inhibit satiety centers, inducing voracious eating … monosodium glutamate and artificial dyes that affect the behavior of children, as well as other toxic additives such as TBHQ [tert-Butylhydroquinone], BHT [Butylated hydroxytoluene], silicon dioxide, [disodium] guanylate and disodium inosinate.”

The group found that the product contained 561 milligrams of salt per 100 grams, which far exceeds the limit allowed under Mexican food regulations. The law states that highly processed foods should not exceed 350 milligrams of salt per 100 grams.

Food regulations also state that calories shouldn’t exceed a count of 275 per 100 grams. However, the group found the chips contained 344 calories per 60 grams.

“The high consumption of this type of calories has been directly associated with conditions such as … obesity, especially in children,” the group added.

They also found fault in another part of the company’s operations. Cheetos was forced to retire its cheetah mascot Chester in January 2021 in compliance with new regulations. However, the consumer group said the company was still using Chester on social media. “The character of the cheetah so characteristic of the Cheetos was banned, however it is still referred to [on social media] … These types of tactics are used by the industry to continue promoting its products, even with the regulations that governments impose to protect the health of its population.”

Cheetos is a product of American multinational food giant PepsiCo.

With reports from Milenio

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