Cheez Whiz is a processed cheese sauce or spread sold by Kraft Foods. It was developed by a team led by food scientist Edwin Traisman (1915–2007). While many sources give its national debut as 1953, it was advertised by Kraft and retailers in several states in late 1952.
Orange in color, it usually comes in a glass jar and is used as a topping for cheesesteaks, corn chips, hot dogs and other foods. It is marketed in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, the United States and Venezuela.
Cheez Whiz is one of a number of "processed cheese foods", a category including some types of individually wrapped cheese slices. These products contain regular cheese that has been reprocessed along with additional ingredients such as emulsifiers and stabilizing agents, such as xanthan gum or carrageenan, and derive their tanginess and flavor from additional ingredients such as citric acid and flavoring compounds. Annatto is used for coloring.
As of 2016, Kraft describes Cheez Whiz as a "cheese dip" with the word "cheese" spelled correctly. The ingredients list contains "cheese culture" but does not, according to Kraft, actually contain any "cheese":
Ingredients: Whey, Milk, Canola Oil, Maltodextrin, Milk Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Contains Less Than 2% Of Modified Food Starch, Salt, Lactic Acid, Whey Protein Concentrate, Mustard Flour, Worcestershire Sauce (Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices (Contains Celery), Tamarind, Natural Flavor), Sodium Alginate, Sorbic Acid As A Preservative, Color Added, Cheese Culture, Enzymes, Natural Flavor
In some markets, the product has been sold in a narrow jar that tapered narrower towards the base, and sold as a spread. When Cheez Whiz is advertised as a dip or a sauce, the jars are larger and more of a squat cylindrical shape.