What is a Microbiological Preservative Efficacy Test (PET)?
The preservative efficacy test (PET) is a microbiological evaluation of a product's ability to kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms over a period of time. This test does not check the ingredients of product or test the suitability of the product for a given application, the purpose is to ensure the preservative system in the product ensures bacteria are not allowed to grow, in-line with European Pharmacopeia standards for EU Cosmetic Regulations.
A Preservative Efficacy Test (PET) is only required when a product contains water. When a product contains no water, bacteria cannot grow and therefore the test is not required. The definition of water includes floral waters as they harbour the same ability to allow bacteria to grow.
Why do I need a Preservative Efficacy Test?
Forgetting the law initially, it is always a good idea to perform a microbiological evaluation on your cosmetic products to ensure the efficiency and efficacy of the preservative that you have in your product.
Understanding the preservative efficiency with allow you to sell your products with confidence, understanding that no bacteria will grow in your product that could cause harm to the consumer, whether the bacteria be present during production or attained during the product's lifetime.
Until July 2013 it was an optional requirement to perform a Microbiological Preservative Efficacy Test (PET) on your product(s), but with the advent of the new EU Cosmetics Regulations it is now a vital part of your cosmetic product safety report (CPSR). For this reason in order to legally sell your products within the EU, you will need to obtain a PET for your product before it is signed off. There are a couple of exceptions and these are detailed further down the page.
Passing your Preservative Efficacy Test
If your product passes the Microbiological Preservative Efficacy Test, we will then issue with a testing certificate to confirm. If you are using an outside assessor for your Cosmetic Product Safety Report then this certificate should be forwarded to your assessor.
If you are using Naturallythinking for safety assessment, then we will pass the assessment internally providing you have ordered a CPSR.
How is the Preservative Efficacy Test Performed?
Our testing conforms with European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur. 7) testing standards.
The first important step is to screen you product to ensure there is no initial contamination, this helps to ensure your production facilities, procedures and ingredients provide adequate safeguard and protection against bacteria and fungus.
If any contaminants are found in your product, we will let you know. You can then either resubmit your sample or we can investigate further to attempt to identify the bacteria / fungus in your product*.
Once your product passes initial screening, we start the Microbiological Preservative Efficacy Testing of your product.
The first stage of the test is to divide the sample you provide into four separate samples for testing. In each sample we place a different bacteria / fungus strain:
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Candida albicans
- Aspergillus brasiliensis
We then monitor the growth of these bacteria, in accordance with European Pharmacopoeia standards. Under these standards we expect to see an initial reduction in bacteria levels, followed by a stabilisation alongside a long term reduction, followed by stabilisation of fungus.
The total time to complete your testing is 35 days and 14 days to compile the results.
- Additional Information
The preservative efficacy test (PET) is a microbiological evaluation of a product's ability to kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms over a period of time.
This test does not check the ingredients of product or test the suitability of the product for a given application, the purpose is to prove the preservative system in the product ensures bacteria are not allowed to grow, in-line with EU Cosmetic Regulations.
Please note: Due to high demand, the next testing will commence on 10 March 2017
Full details on our Preservative Efficacy Testing service can be found underneath the form. Click here
Need Help Completing this Information?
SKU 5060330637753 Skin Type Normal Skin
- Ingredients, Technical & MSDS
Generate the certificate of analysis for your purchased product by entering your Batch Number which can be found on the packaging of your product.