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Vegetarians in Paradise
Vegetarianism in the News

February 1, 2002 -- Vegparadise News Bureau

Frito-Lay Reveals Animal Ingredients

Before you head for the check-out stand with that bag of potato or tortilla chips, you might want to look at the small print on the reverse side of the bag, especially if you're vegetarian or vegan.

Vegetarians in Paradise was recently alerted by Amanda Newman, one of our readers, informing us that there were meat products in the chips.

"One day I was at lunch, and I got a veggie sub and a bag of Lay's baked KC Masterpiece Chips," she writes. "After I had eaten some, I happen to glance at the ingredients, and there is CHICKEN FAT in them."

Needless to say, Amanda was so upset that she had eaten a product with chicken fat, she telephoned Frito-Lay.

The company representative responded by saying she would pass Amanda's comments to the marketing department and would send her a list of the products that contained "animal related ingredients."

We called Frito-Lay to obtain information about animal products, dairy, and natural and artificial flavors in their snacks. The company will not release any information regarding specific ingredients included in natural and artificial flavors. They consider this proprietary information that they will only release to physicians upon request.

In response to our call to Frito-Lay, the Consumer Affairs Department sent us the following letter:

"Thank you for contacting us about the enzymes, whey, and animal-related ingredients in our products.

"The enzymes used in the cheese-making process are microbial enzymes that are produced in a lab for use in foods. Whey is the liquid that remains when milk is curdled in the cheese-making process; microbial enzymes are used in this process also.

"Enclosed is a list of products that contain animal-related ingredients.

"We do appreciate your interest in our products and we hope you will continue to enjoy our snack products."

The envelope included a coupon "good for one free package of any Frito-Lay product, a list of Products Containing Animal Related Ingredients, and a list of Products Not Containing Lactose or Milk.

Although our readers would automatically reject Baken-Ets products made from pork skins and Rustler items made from beef, they might be surprised that some of the items in the following list contain animal ingredients:

Products Containing Animal Related Ingredients

Baked Lay's KC Masterpiece BBQ Potato Chips
Baken-Ets BBQ Pork Skins
Baken-Ets Hot 'N Spicy Cracklins
Baken-Ets Hot 'N Spicy Pork Skins
Baken-Ets Regular Cracklins
Baken-Ets Regular Pork Skins
Cheetos Bacon Cheddar Crackers
Doritos Extremes Zesty Sour Cream & Cheddar Tortilla Chips
Doritos Salsa Verde Tortilla Chips
Grandma's Molasses Big Cookies
Maui Style Onion Potato Chips
Ruffles Big BBQ & Cheddar Flavor Rush Potato Chips
Rustler's Beef Jerky
Rustler's Spicy Beef Stick
Sunchips French Onion Multigrain Snacks

At the end of the extensive list of Products Not Containing Lactose or Milk, they included the following statement:

"The above products do not contain milk. They are produced on the same line as our products that do contain milk. The lines are washed between batches. However, a slight residue may remain on the line. Individuals who are extremely sensitive may be affected."

Unfortunately, they did not send us a list of snacks containing milk products. Examining their snacks on the shelves of a local supermarket, we became aware that many of the flavored potato chips contained dairy or animal products. The plain chips with the least number of ingredients had no animal or dairy products.

Any vegetarian and vegan contemplating the purchase of any of the Frito-Lay brands should read the ingredient labels and be aware that the items may contain residue. The company does not mention whether the products containing animal ingredients are produced on the same lines as the others.

Anyone wanting further information about Frito-Lay's products can contact their Consumer Affairs Department at 1-800-352-4477.

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