The use of PET bottles for packaging soft drinks and mineral waters is still growing world wide. The production process for these bottles is improving constantly. These improvements are focussed on bottles with better barrier properties, higher inertness and higher heat stability. One of the factors determining the quality of PET bottles is the release of acetaldehyde into the product during storage. A literature survey was conducted on the odour and taste detection threshold of acetaldehyde in water. A method is described to rapidly determine the concentration of acetaldehyde in water up to a level of 1 μg/l. This method was used to determine the concentration of acetaldehyde in mineral water during storage in PET bottles. In still water no acetaldehyde could be found, whereas the concentration of acetaldehyde in carbonated mineral water increased steadily upon storage. Model experiments were performed to find an explanation.