Alko products are thoroughly tested

Product safety and high quality are essential for an excellent selection. The Alcohol Control Laboratory (ACL) in Helsinki tests the beverages sold at Alko by performing stringent laboratory analyses.

Alko wants to provide its customers with world-class service. One integral element of an excellent customer experience is an interesting, diverse and safe selection of products.

The Alcohol Control Laboratory has thoroughly tested your beverage

acl pullot

ACL is an accredited laboratory

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.

The Alcohol Control Laboratory (ACL) performs chemical analyses for each new product in the general selection according to its product group.  Testing is also carried out when the product changes in some way, such as due to the introduction of a new vintage.

Experts in alcoholic beverage analytics always check a product’s alcohol content. Depending on the product group, additional tests are also performed, such as verifying the sugar content of wines or the bitterness of beers.  Each product group has its own allowed deviations.

ACL’s analyses aim to ensure that products are flawless in quality and comply with legislation. 

50,000 individual analyses per year

bottle boiling in laboratory

ACL has a team of 11 people who examine about 4,000 products each year, carrying out a total of more than 50,000 analyses.  Although about half of the laboratory’s analyses have been automated, a considerable amount of work, such as distillation, is still done by hand.

Laboratory tests are often performed up to six months before a product appears on Alko shelves. For instance, a new mulled wine for Christmas is analysed in the laboratory around Easter.

What do we know about the wine in your glass?

ACL analyses all types of products in Alko’s selection, but wines in particular are monitored very frequently, as a change in vintage will in practice always mean new ingredients.

The laboratory analyses determine the alcohol content, pH value, sugar content, sulphur dioxide content, and total acidity of the wine. Sulphur dioxide (aka sulphites) are the most commonly used preservatives in alcoholic beverages, and especially in wines. Limit values have been defined for sulphites, and ACL closely monitors the products sold at Alko to ensure they remain within these limits.

Sensory evaluation is part of quality control

Before products arrive at ACL for laboratory analysis, the beverages are subjected to a sensory evaluation by a separate sensory evaluation team. This team has its own experts, all of whom are trained in sensory evaluation.

Read more about sensory evaluation >