The PET proof procedure, developed by German ingredients and solutions firm Wild, takes less than three weeks to simulate the effect of oxygen on a product in typical storage conditions for several months.
The test has been designed primarily to determine the influence of oxygen on non-alcoholic drinks in plastic packaging. But, Wild said the method could be suitable for all types of passive barrier packaging.
The group has filed patent applications for PET proof in Europe, Japan and the US.
The permeation of atmospheric oxygen through PET bottles is a critical factor because, aside from temperature and light, oxygen is a key factor in the aging process of foods and beverages.
Oxygen permeation may also have an effect on the often complex ingredients make-up of products.
It is the first time an alternative stability and/or durability test for oxygen permeating PET bottles has been found to so-called 'real time testing' that monitors a product over its entire shelf-life, according to Wild.
High innovation pressure, particularly in the soft drinks industry, has led to shorter product life cycles and the need to trial such products much faster.
And, PET bottles are still predicted to dominate several drinks packaging markets over the next few years, despite soaring oil prices significantly raising the cost of plastic for producers.
Wild said theoretical models for predicting the effect of gas on a product over its lifetime served only as a rough guide. And fast tests, which expose products to increased temperature, could not give an accurate, long-term picture, the firm added.
It is important for food and beverage makers to predict as accurately as possible how their products will perform during storage and throughout their lifetime. This helps to prevent spoilage and maintain quality assurance, which can affect a company's reputation with consumers.