Quality Control of Barrier Enhanced Bottles—current streams and results

​Diploma Engineer in Brewing, Roland Folz, Research and Teaching Institute for Brewing in Berlin (VLB), Germany.

Plastic containers and closures have taken on an important role as packaging materials for the brewing industry. Alongside the many well-known advantages there is the problem of plastic’s inherent permeability to gases (O2 and CO2). To enhance the barrier properties of plastic material, different bottle systems were developed, such as multilayer, internal coatings, and blends. The quality of these various systems can be evaluated through the measurement of permeation. Since the demand of permeation measurement has reached the market, novel methods for measurement are proposed and offered. The diversity of systems led to a situation in which measurement results from different sources can not be compared with each other. The lecture contains a comparison of existing methods with novel methods and at the same time an evaluation of the latest development in barrier-enhanced plastic bottles and closures.


The existing VLB method for the permeation measurement of O2 and CO2 as a real time method is presented and a new method is introduced that is working with a non-destructive and non-invasive measurement. The methods are being compared.

Results and Practical Relevance:

Deviations in the results of different permeation measurement methods that are not working with the real kinetic exist and must be an essential part of discussion about barrier effects. The existing quick permeation measurements will not substitute the real time permeation test but may be seen as important methods to detect relevant quality deviation in delivered bottles or self-coated bottles in an incoming goods inspection and routine control for the breweries and bottlers.