A new technique for determining oxygen and carbon dioxide permeabilities of flexible packaging was developed and tested on very-low density, low density and high density polyethylene pouches. The pouch head-space and pouch volume of carbon dioxide filled pouches were measured as a function of time until an equilibrium pouch gas composition was established. Permeabilities were obtained from the rates of carbon dioxide loss and oxygen uptake. HSP-method permeability values were in good agreement with those obtained from traditional flat-film permeability techniques. The HSP-method was found to be a valuable tool for determining and quantifying changes in carbon dioxide and oxygen pouch barrier properties due, for example, to exposure to olive oil or due to the existence of poor welds.

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