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IUPAC name 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4H-pyran-4-one
CAS number 118-71-8
Molecular formula C6H6O3
Molar mass 126.11 g/mol
Density 1.348 g/cm3
Melting point

161-162 °C

Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Maltol is a naturally occurring organic compound that is used primarily as a flavor enhancer. It is found in the bark of larch tree, in pine needles, and in roasted malt (from which it gets its name). It is a white crystalline powder that is soluble in hot water, chloroform, and other polar solvents. Because it has the odor of caramel, maltol is used to impart a sweet aroma to fragrances. Maltol has a taste and odor reminiscent of freshly baked bread, and is used as a flavor enhancer (E number E636) in breads and cakes.

Maltol, like related 3-hydroxy-4-pyrones such as kojic acid, binds to hard metal centers such as Fe3+, Al3+, and VO3+.[1] Related to this property, maltol has been reported to increase aluminium uptake in the body by 90 times.[citation needed]

See also

  • Ethyl maltol
  • Isomaltol


  1. ^ B. D. Liboiron, K. H. Thompson, G. R. Hanson, E. Lam, N. Aebischer, C. Orvig (2005). "New Insights into the Interactions of Serum Proteins with Bis(maltolato)oxovanadium(IV): Transport and Biotransformation of Insulin-Enhancing Vanadium Pharmaceuticals". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127: 5104-5115. doi:10.1021/ja043944n.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Maltol". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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