A straightforward ultrasound extraction of food samples followed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) can be used to quickly determine concentrations of the potentially toxic flavor enhancer maltol, 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4H-pyran-4-one. Maltol is present in coffee, baked cereals, bread crusts, and caramelized foods, and can made by sucrose pyrolysis or thermal degradation of starch. It was a useful additive but shows a dose-dependent toxicity mediated through programmed cell death, apoptosis, and the exposure is limited by World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. The new analytical approach by scientists at the Cumhuriyet University, in Sivas, Turkey, could help inform regulators of problems with commercial food and beverages.
Single maltol analysis