SAO PAULO, BRAZIL—PET resin producer Rhodia-ster SA of Sao Paulo claims to have developed a new beer-making process that allows the beverage to be bottled in regular PET soft drink bottles, maintaining a shelf life of 100-120 days. The three-year project was carried out with a scientist from Campinas State University, an important research center in Brazil.
Rhodia-ster is pursuing global patents on the process.
According to Leandro Fraga Guimaraes, marketing and planning manager at Rhodia-ster, the development does not involve the creation of a different type of beer, just "a few changes relative to the traditional beer-making process, with no change in flavor."
Guimaraes said that the beer produced by the new process has been tested and approved by consumers and professionals dedicated to tasting beer. The necessary investment to adapt a traditional beer production system to the new technology can cost as much as 20,000 reais ($11,500). He would not reveal details of the development.
Guimaraes said Rhodia-ster is awaiting acceptance from Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture to introduce the product locally. He said the company already has approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
"We are studying a potential partnership in the United States to introduce the new concept there," Guimaraes said in a March 20 telephone interview.
Rhodia-ster is controlled by the French group Rhodia SA. In 1998, the company was considered a noncore business activity to Rhodia and was put up for sale. Several proposals have been analyzed, but no deal has yet been consummated.