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E 636 | Flavour Enhancer
Possible application of gene technology Labelling
Raw material GM Maize no
Enzymes, produced with the aid of GM microorganisms no



Maltol accrues as typical flavour by various browning processes, such as in the baking of bread and the roasting of cocoa and coffee beans. It has a caramel-like taste.

  • Maltol does not have to be itemised on the list of ingredients; the specification "flavour" is sufficient.


Maltol is applied to many foods as:

  • flavour enhancer; it provides the distinctive aromas of baking and roasting
  • as intensifier of sweetness in confections and chocolate products, desserts and beverages; by adding minor amounts of maltol, 15 per cent of sugar can be saved
  • as aroma and flavour enhancer for intense caramel aroma.

Gene technology

Maltol is won by heating maltose (malt sugar) and lactose (milk sugar). For both basic products, the application of gene technology is possible.

  • Maltose is produced from plant starch during the process of saccharification. Maize starch can partly consist of genetically modified maize, especially when raw materials are imported out of the USA or Argentina. In the EU, genetically modified maize is grown on a comparativelly small area and nonetheless is not used as raw material for foodstuff. This may change in the case that the cultivation of GM maize increases in significance. Ingredients derived from several types of GM maize are approved in the EU.
    In the future also: starch from potatoes and wheat.
    Enzymes solubilise plant starch and metabolise it into compounds that are distinguished as ingredients and additives. Several of these enzymes are produced with help of GM microorganisms such as amylases, glucose-isomerase, pullulanase.
  • Lactose: from whey.

Labelling: Maltol is not put on the list of ingredients and therefore is not subject to a labelling requirement if the product is directly or indirectly produced from GM plants (e.g. maize).


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