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Template:Chembox E number
IUPAC name 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4H-pyran-4-one
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 879: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 879: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Molar mass 126.11 g/mol
Density 1.348 g/cm3
Melting point
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+.[1] Related to this property, maltol has been reported to greatly increase aluminium uptake in the body [2] and to increase the oral bioavailability of gallium [3] and iron. [4]

See also


  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.