3D model (JSmol)
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|Molar mass||126.11 g/mol|
|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+, Ga3+, Al3+, and VO3+. Related to this property, maltol has been reported to greatly increase aluminium uptake in the body  and to increase the oral bioavailability of gallium  and iron. 
- 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.
- N. Kaneko, H. Yasui, J. Takada, K. Suzuki, H. Sakurai (2004). "Orally administrated aluminum-maltolate complex enhances oxidative stress in the organs of mice". J. Inorg. Biochem. 98: 2022–2031. doi:10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2004.09.008.
- L. R. Bernstein, T. Tanner, C. Godfrey, B. Noll (2000). "Chemistry and pharmacokinetics of gallium maltolate, a compound with high oral gallium bioavailability". Metal Based Drugs. 7: 33–48. doi:10.1155/MBD.2000.33.
- D.M. Reffitt, T.J. Burden, P.T. Seed, J. Wood J, R.P. Thompson, J.J. Powell (2000). "Assessment of iron absorption from ferric trimaltol". Ann. Clin. Biochem. 37: 457–66.