Bs across the board
Niacin, same deal: an essential nutrient that has to be added back into the mix. Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, and without it, you’ll quickly develop weird weaknesses: anemia, headaches, dizziness, nausea, that kind of thing. Good! Add it back in, please.
Thiamine mononitrate is also an additive; it’s a version of thiamin, otherwise known as vitamin B1, though not a naturally occurring one. Thiamin is another nutrient kind of like niacin; it’s not that taking more of it makes you healthier, it’s that without it, you develop serious health problems. Thiamin deficiencies tend to affect the nervous and cardiovascular system.
Anyway, producers like Frito-Lay use thiamine mononitrate, a synthetic powder version of vitamin B1, to replace the regular vitamin B1 that grains like corn naturally contain before they’re bled out. It’s used instead of natural thiamin because it’s cheap and very stable and easy to use; it’s the thiamin replacement of choice for packaged goods.
Sigh, another member of the vitamin B group. Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2, and is a yellow color the precise shade of urine. In fact, if you take riboflavin as a vitamin, it’ll turn your urine neon yellow. Cool fact!
Riboflavin is necessary for a lot of synthesis of various chemicals into other more useful chemicals throughout the body. Though it’s common in cereals (and yeast is extremely high in it), processed flours like the cornmeal in Cheetos is like the Sahara for riboflavin. It’s estimated that the processing eliminates about 60% of naturally occurring riboflavin, so it’s added back in along with the other nutrients.
And finally we come to the last re-added vitamin B-type nutrient: folic acid, otherwise known as vitamin B9. But this is an interesting one: folates are a loose group of vitamins, without which humans will end up with diarrhea and possibly nerve damage. But folic acid is not folate; folic acid is a synthetic, lab-made replacement that supposedly converts other stuff to folates. But recent research indicates that humans are not very good at using folic acid to create folates, that it’s an inefficient and slow process. That further indicates that, well, folic acid might be bullshit.