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you can use the isDefined function in the onRequestStart function in Application.cfc
I have never had an application scoped variable / object get lost or damaged in the way that you're describing.
are you loading it in the onApplicationStart function of Application.cfc ? that would be a good place to do it.
oh, actually, I did have a contractor who assigned the application name dynamically, I think the name contained the current date so each time the date would change the application would change - you might want to make sure that is not happening to you.
IsDefined won't work. The Null Pointer Exception will appear in both cfc und cfm pages. The variables will be filled in the application.cfm.
I don't suppose you are using StructCopy() to get a copy of the structure instead of a pointer to the structure, then when the pointer gets erased by ... then your APPLICATION.struct will be undefined too.