Food & Beverage Manufacturing Safety Culture At HCCBGoing beyond compliance
For years our products have been the benchmark in quality, safety, taste, and purity. Knowing that our beverages are chosen by millions every day, HCCB has zero tolerance towards any deviation in quality. Our quality and food safety norms comply with all govt regulations and are often more stringent than most national and international norms. .
All ingredients - treated water, beverage bases, and concentrate, carbon dioxide, sugar and sweeteners, pulp, and puree are tested for physical, chemical, and microbiological standards that are well defined and designed to ensure that finished products meet the specifications beyond compliance.
Quality checks start even before the ingredients reach the factory and continue much after the beverages are delivered at retail outlets. Every batch of the ingredients is sampled and tested as per defined statistical sampling processes at supplier locations. The input materials are tested again at our factories as per the incoming quality check protocols before we can accept the supplies. There are more than 140 interlocks across different processes and equipment in the manufacturing lines. Interlocks ensure production with zero defects. More than 600 quality tests are carried out at defined periodicity for every batch of production in every factory, which is another testament to our deep commitment.
Checks and balances at every stage
Whether it is about the chemical specification of treated water, the composition of the final syrup, the temperature at which the beverage is being filled, the pressure at which carbon dioxide is injected, the level to which bottles are filled, the torque at which the bottle cap is closed, or the quality of date coding on the bottles/cans/tetra packs, every parameter is closely monitored and recorded both online and offline.
Our factories are audited against Food Safety standards
(FSSC 22000) and KORE (Coca-Cola Operating Requirements) by the Global Audit Organization (GAO) of The Coca-Cola Company, as also third-party audit agencies such as DNV and LRQA on the entire process at regular intervals.
HCCB employs best-in-class in-process quality checks across its production lines. For instance, each bottle passes through a robust, state-of-the-art, All Surface Electronic Bottle Inspection (ASEBI) equipment, that takes the physical image of each bottle and then accepts, or rejects based on the standard image.
The online quality inspection process includes scrutiny of cleaned glass bottles for any damages or foreign matter. This electronic inspection technology rules out virtually any possibility of foreign matter, of any kind in the bottle.
Similarly, the Filled Bottle Inspection Technology measures to ensure uniformity of net content (liquid) in all bottles through a liquid height parameter. It checks for closure conditions ensuring that package caps are placed appropriately. HCCB also uses the online Brix and Carbonation Analysers to ensure that the quantity of sugar and carbon dioxide mixed in every bottle is uniform.
Besides, the factories are equipped with Flow Diverter Valves to ensure that the hot fill product (juice) is pasteurized at a pre-set temperature. If the beverage happens to go below the desired temperature, it is not passed on to the filler and is diverted for reprocessing.
Good Manufacturing Practices
HCCB manufacturing facilities implement Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in all its areas including ingredient storage, handling, processing, filling, packaging, finished products, and storage management. Sure enough, GMP helps in ensuring good hygiene, quality, food safety, operational safety, and environmental protection.
The entire manufacturing process is carried out in a sterile environment. All ingredients are stored, and processed in stainless containers and pipelines, which are cleaned as per the fully automated Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) schedules. The schedule is in accordance with the globally acknowledged standard operating procedures. CIP removes any dirt or carryover beverage flavor, eliminates any organic residue that could grow bacterial or microbial contaminants, and rinse out the cleaning agent.
Once the product is hygienically filled and adequately sealed, HCCB factories conduct another set of sensory evaluation tests for every batch of beverages through a random sampling method. This ensures that our beverages deliver the right experience to consumers across all sensory parameters - appearance, sound, taste, feel, and flavor. These tests are conducted by in-house experts certified for a certain period by global quality teams.
Packing, Shipping and Transportation
Once the products are certified good-to-go, the process of safely packing, transporting, storage and delivery, kicks in. This is to ensure minimum risk to the quality and integrity of the product. Among other things, there is an audit process designed specifically for the distributor’s premise. It checks for adequate isle space between pallets, products touching the wall, whether protective covers have been used to prevent exposure to the sun, etc. The parameters are diligently monitored. HCCB has also deployed software that enables the distributors to track and recall the beverages from the retail outlets before they exceed their shelf life, i.e. the best before date.
Manpower Training to build capacity
The unwavering focus on quality comes from the commitment of our employees. Training holds the key. Despite the massive scale of operations, quality-related competencies are reinforced through regular training programs, coaching, review, and feedback mechanism. Over the years, these processes and practices have been explicitly codified in the way people at HCCB work.
The journey continues.