Maltol is an organic compound and it is primarily used as a flavour enhancer in the food industry. Maltol, also known as roasted malt, is naturally found in the bark of larch trees and in pine needles. Maltol is a white crystalline powder that is soluble in hot water, chloroform, and other polar solvents. Maltol have the odour of cotton candy and caramel. Maltol behaves like some chemical compounds like Kojic acid. Maltol also have the property which binds hard metal centers such as Fe3+, Ga3+, Al3+ and it has been reported to increase Aluminium uptake in the body.
Maltol is prepared by heating feedstocks of maltose (malt sugar) and lactose (milk sugar).
Maltol is commonly used in the food industry to impart a sweet aroma and fragrance to some of the food products. Maltol is used as flavour enhancer in many bread and cakes. As such, maltol intensifies the sweetness in confectionery products, chocolate products, desserts and beverages. The addition of Maltol in food products can save 15% of sugar consumption. The major application of Maltol is used as an intense caramel aroma.