Transparent Velveeta?
October 21, 2009 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Is Velveeta cheese transparent before artificial coloring is added? Or is this just an Urban Legend?
posted by cleverevans to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is anecdotal, but I worked for a company that made vegetable oil, and supplied oil to Kraft. I was told by a guy I worked with, that Cheez Wiz and Velveeta were grayish white before the coloring was added. However, I have no idea if that's true, but at least it was somewhat close to the source.

Regarding transparency, I don't think it can possibly be clear/transparent because there are suspended solids (fats and proteins) in it.
posted by cabingirl at 5:55 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I imagine it's sort of a grayish white color as well, simply because no cheese (or cheez) is orange until some kind of natural or artificial is added. Even fancy cheeses, such as the lovely Mimolette must be colored (in this case with annatto) to be anything other than milky white/gray/yellow/cream.
posted by mostlymartha at 6:28 PM on October 21, 2009

Velveeta is colored with apocarotenal and annatto, both of which are vegetable-derived food colors. Processed cheese is essentially cheese with some other stuff in it. No, it would never be anything like transparent (and if it were these colorings wouldn't make it opaque).
posted by nanojath at 6:59 PM on October 21, 2009

Back in the late 80s or early 90s there was a period in which lots of products came out with clear versions which were perceived to be clean, fresh and pure. For example Pepsi Clear and Ivory Soap Clear. Saturday Night Live did a spoof on this marketing trend in which one of their product inventions was Velveeta Clear which looked like a slab of clear gelatin. Perhaps that is the source of the urban legend.
posted by JackFlash at 12:36 AM on October 22, 2009

Discussion at
posted by usonian at 6:08 AM on October 22, 2009

It's funny in the Snopes discussion, someone links to a quote saying that "we also
found out that its composition is very similar to that of explosives". Well, no. It has the similar density and shape when viewed through an x-ray device but it has a completely different composition which is why it is edible and plastic explosives are not.

Back on topic, many heavily processed cheeses have their yellow color added because American consumers expect cheese to be yellow-orange.
posted by JJ86 at 6:45 AM on October 22, 2009

(Sort of off-topic, but in response to a comment above)

Not to muddy, or rather clear, the waters but the Saturday Night Live spoof was Crystal Gravy, not Velveeta Clear.
posted by xotis at 8:01 AM on October 22, 2009

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