'Doritos Breath' Used To Be A Much Bigger Problem In The Past

Frito-Lay might be responsible for producing a ton of different Dorito flavors every year, but the magic all began with the original Nacho Cheese version, which had — and still has — everyone at "hello." Except, the first "hello" was laced with a "garlic-laden" odor and an aftertaste that was commonly referred to as "Dorito breath." And, while your mouth certainly won't be minty fresh these days after inhaling a bag of these popular chips, it's definitely not as bad as it was back in the 1970s and 1980s. What caused the change? According to Mental Floss, the snacking giant gathered data from years of focus group feedback, which eventually made them realize there were two major complaints that they needed to address: Doritos devotees requested a cheesier flavor, and they wanted to reduce the stench that lingered in their breath after munching on the them. 

"When you ate this product in the past, if you ate a certain amount and then stood around people, they could tell," Frito-Lay spokeswoman Beverly Holmes told The Washington Post. And, it was true! But, make no mistake about it — the bad breath syndrome and the lack of super cheesiness didn't impact the sale of Doritos. In fact, it was an incredible $1.3 billion brand during the early 1990s, says the article. Still, they wanted to make their customers happy, and their first order of business was to pack some punch into the flavor of the snacks. So, they created a new seasoning formula (dubbed Nacho Cheesier Doritos), which reduced the ratio of garlic and increased the cheese. What happened next was a happy coincidence: The new flavor formula ended up reducing Dorito breath. "It was not an objective at all. It turned out to be a pleasant side benefit of the new and improved seasoning," said Stephen Liguori, Frito-Lay's Vice President of Marketing (via Greensboro News & Record). 

Frito-Lay introduced the new and improved Doritos in snack-sized bags and, to this day, the chips remain as sought-after as ever.

What makes people love Doritos so much?

While Lay's may have developed the tagline, "Bet You Can't Eat Just One," you can easily apply the phrase to the highly popular Doritos chips. Whether you're munching on Cool Ranch, Flamin' Hot Limon, Spicy Sweet Chili, or Nacho Cheese-flavored Doritos, chances are, you will finish the entire bag in just one sitting. But, what is it that makes people so powerless against them? One reason, according to The New York Times, is that, "When fat-laden snacks melt in the mouth, the brain thinks that the calories have disappeared, too." This is what some food scientists refer to as "vanishing caloric density." So basically, it takes a while before you realize how full you really are, and your brain thinks you want more — which explains a lot. According to Nutrition Facts, 70 out of the 150 calories per serving size of Doritos come from fat.

Salt and sugar also play an important role in why Doritos are so irresistible. According to Business Insider, these ingredients, in addition to other flavor enhancers like MSG, disodium inosinate, garlic, and cheese are "pleasure solutes," which make most people want to eat more. And, according to Men's Health, folks are more likely to indulge in snacks when they are labeled "crunchy" since the sound of the snack increases your enjoyment of it and causes you to consume more. If only we all liked eating celery, apples, and carrot sticks more!