We produce our own beverage - Vista - at Free Flow, so we understand the importance of quality control better than most contract manufacturers. We know that slip-ups can’t simply be fixed with a refund or credit note, as this doesn’t reverse the damage to your brand’s reputation.
Our in-house production manager and quality control team follow a rigorous process to ensure that every single can leaving our facility looks, tastes and feels exactly how it should.
Inwards goods: All raw ingredients are assigned a batch number and tracked in our inventory system on arrival. Any ingredients that require chilling are temperature checked before they’re stored.
Water filtration: Water goes through a 4-stage filtration system, starting with UV sterilisation before passing through a 20-micron filter, 1-micron filter and charcoal filter.
Blending: We weigh each ingredient manually using calibrated scales and carefully follow the blending method detailed in your beverage’s individual recipe. After blending, we use reference samples of your beverage to check the new batch.
Lab testing: We test every batch of your drink in-house, measuring the pH, sugar and carbon dioxide levels. Alcoholic beverages are distilled and then the alcohol volume is checked using our Anton Paar digital alcohol hydrometer.
Pasteurisation: During the pasteurisation process, we test your beverage with a DTS Milli PU recorder to make sure the correct pasteurising units have been achieved.
Fill height: Each can passes through our Fill-Tech x-ray machine, which checks the fill height and removes any under-filled cans.
Seam testing: During production, our shift managers run a 3-stage seam test to check that the lid on each can has been seamed correctly.
General production checks: Our shift managers, machine operators and packaging technicians spot check random samples of each beverage throughout the production process, assessing can weight, pack weight, carbonation level and glue quality.
Cleaning: We have a rigorous daily and weekly cleaning schedule to ensure our facility is equipped for safe handling, eliminating the risk of contamination.
Downstream testing: Random samples of each finished beverage are sent to independent labs at 6 months and 12 months after production, where shelf life and quality specifications are checked.
Internal audits: Our systems and processes are reviewed regularly, with an annual audit that focuses on cleaning, testing and training procedures.