The invention of the cheese curl happened in the 1930's. Flakall Company produced flaked corn feed for farm animals. Edward Wilson noticed how the heated moistened cornmeal hardened when it came out of the flaking machine. He took these ribbons of corn puffs, added flavoring and oil to create the first cheese curls. Adams Corporation was the first company to start mass producing cheese curls. Frito-Lay began in 1961 with the merge of H.W. Lay Company and Frito Company. Today, Frito-Lay accounts for about 59% of the snack industry.
Another account claims they were invented by the Elmer Candy Corporation of some time during or prior to 1936 at which time the sales manager for Elmer’s, Morel M. Elmer, Sr., decided to hold a contest in New Orleans to give this successful product a name. The winning name "CheeWees" is still being used today by the manufacturing company, Elmer's Fine Foods.
(from Cheese puffs)
Cheese curls are low in fibers and protein and high in fat and calories. 82% of American households are estimated to have tried cheese curls at least once.
The production of cheese curls requires only cornmeal and water as raw ingredients. The dying and flavoring of the product comes after the puffs are formed.
The extruder pushes the cornmeal mixture under heat and pressure through dies that creates the shapes for the curl.
"When the cornmeal reaches the die it should be hot, elastic, and viscous. The moisture is liquid under high pressure but changes to steam as it reaches lower pressure on the other side of the extrusion process. The result is that the cornmeal dough expands and puffs up as it moves through the extrusion dies. "
A rotating knife cuts the extruded cornmeal to the desired size
These collettes are then dried and either fried or baked.
Without flavoring the collettes are rather bland tasting. The oils, flavors, spices, and color are then combined and sprayed onto the snacks in a tank.
Cheese curls are usually packaged in polypropylene bags to prevent moisture from seeping in.
Quoted and summarized from Made How
History about Frito Lay from here
Cheetos and "Fritatos" were developed in 1948 by Charles Elmer Doolin, creator of Frito.
Some Cheeto flavorings include pork enzymes to create different flavors.
An 8 1/2 ounce bag of Cheetos has approximately 117 Cheetos.
"More than 15 million pounds of cheese is used to make Cheetos worldwide. In the US, more than 1 billion bags of Cheetos Snacks are produced every year and approximately 4.2 million bags of Cheetos are produced every day. Last year, 250 million pounds of Cheetos Snacks were produced in the US alone."
In 2001, Cheetos produced "Cheetos Mystery Colorz Snack". The product still looked the same, but had a water soluble additive that turned your tongue green or blue when the additive is activated by saliva.
"Cheetos Snacks are available in such countries as U.K., Turkey, Indonesia, Hungary, Poland, Brazil, Mexico, China, Spain, Greece and Belgium. Some Cheetos flavors include Cheese and Bacon in Australia, Honeydew in Japan, Sweet Basil & Fried Pork in Thailand and Chicken Grill in Indonesia."
"Frito-Lay, Inc., headquartered in Plano, TX, is the $11 billion snack food division of PepsiCo, Inc., which is based in Purchase, NY. Frito-Lay is the market leader in half of the world's top 10 snack chip markets with operations in 40 countries and a family of global, multi-billion-dollar brands including Lay's Potato Chips, Doritos Tortilla Chips, Ruffles Potato Chips, Tostitos Tortilla Chips and Cheetos Cheese-Flavored Snacks."Frito-Lay celebrates April Fool's Fun