"Back in the WWII era, the military poured money into finding ways to dehydrate foods. Specifically, cheese. From the longer shelf life to the lighter weight, cheese powder was a smash hit — and also a key ingredient in Cheetos!
In 1948 Frito‑Lay (then the Frito Company) introduced their first cheesy snack cracker, which contained the same Wisconsin cheddar that the army put in its dehydrated products. That cheese dust has some serious history!
From Popular Science article October, 1943
Popular Science October, 1943 AOC cranberries.JPG 107.23K 49 downloads
"Early in January 1942, John Cornelius Donnelly (who started his experiments in food compression/dehydration in 1936) heard through a friend that the Auto-Ordnance Company, 1 Wall Street New York, makers of those famous submachine guns known as "tommy guns," had established a research and development division to seek new products for the postwar era.
"With the signing of his contract, the Auto-Ordnance Company took over a fairly pretentious sales building of the Ford and Lincoln agency in Greenwich, Conn., in which to install their food-compression/dehydration laboratory."
"In charge of this laboratory, Donnelly became the chief of a staff of 10, including a chemist, physicist, bacteriologist, mechanical engineer, and six laboratory assistants. His financial troubles were ended. The Auto-Ordnance Company and officials of the Du Pont corporation, promoting the use of cellophane as a substitute packaging material for tin, interested Federal officials in fostering the new compression/dehydration industry."