Homofuronol is a quite recently introduced flavor chemical which has only been marketed since 1988. It belongs to a class of structurally related flavoring compounds like furonol, maltol, corylone and others. They all contain cyclic 3-alkyl-2-enol-1-one structures in a planary arrangement, and they develop related agreeable flavor impressions of sweet, caramel, roasted types.
Some of these cycloenol-ones also enhance and modify flavors. They are weakly acidic due to their phenolic-like structure and are soluble in water (see Table I).
Other representatives of this class of flavor compounds are maltol (R=CH3; ethyl maltol (R= C2H5); 2-hydroxy-3-methylcyclopent-2-enone (corylone) and a number of its alkylated homologues; and 2-hydroxy-3-methyl-4-ethylbutenolide (R= C2H5) and its methyl homologue (R= CH3). Homologues of homofuronol are the often used furonol (also “furaneol”) on one side, and the commercially not available nor furonol on the other.