Molecular cotton candy – Ethyl Maltol

What does it look like?

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

What is it?

There are a large range of molecules that are added to our foods to enhance their flavour. This is one such substance, ethyl maltol, which is closely related to the molecule maltol. This molecule gives a flavour like caramelised sugar, or cotton candy.

Where did the structure come from?

This is the structure of ‘form I’ of ethyl maltol, which is one of three ways this molecule can arrange into a crystal structure found in 1995.

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