ACL secures product safety

Alcohol Control Laboratory (ACL) analyses all products that have been selected for listing at Alko. ACL studies about 6,000 samples annually.

Product safety and quality are central to Alko’s responsible operations. This area is the responsibility of Alko’s Quality Control and the Alcohol Control Laboratory (ACL).

Potential new products are primarily tested through sensory evaluation. As yet, no device has been able to beat traditional smell and taste testing, which is why Alko quality controllers play a key role in checking new products.

However, since everything cannot be determined by smelling and tasting, science is also needed to ensure product quality. Alcohol Control Laboratory (ACL) analyses all products that have been selected for listing at Alko. ACL studies about 6,000 samples annually. ACL is a Notified Body notified to the European Commission by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The test results are valid all over the world.

ACL studies the chemical and microbiological quality of alcoholic beverages, spirits and other products containing alcohol. At regular intervals, the laboratory also rechecks Alko’s standard selection products.

Listed products are re-analysed when changes have occurred – for example, a wine is analysed when the vintage changes. The objective of continuous quality control is to ensure product safety and the accuracy of product information. If no changes occur in a product, it will be re-analysed in accordance with our quality control programme, which is based on risk assessment.

Quality control enhances product safety, but it also reduces product returns, since customers do not receive faulty products. Producers have developed their production processes as a response to Alko’s systematic quality control, and this has improved the products. Alko’s laboratory is the oldest and largest alcohol control laboratory in the Nordic countries.

Alko’s quality control operations are more extensive than what is required by law. If deficiencies are found in a product’s safety, it will not be approved for sale. The importer has the greatest responsibility for product safety.

FINAS Finnish Accreditation Service has verified the competence and independence of ACL. The scope of accreditation of the laboratory covers the chemical testing of spirits, other beverages containing alcohol and technochemical products. The laboratory meets the requirements of the SFS-EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard.