A few years back, I used to work for one of ON's largest customers. I was able to tour their HUGE facility near Aurora Illinois. This is where they make and blend their powders, and a new bar production line. I will say that their facility is impressive; however, they mix their powders by hand.
First, workers dump sacks of bulk protein powder and other ingredients into a "cement-truck" like mixer. I saw different lots of ingredients getting mixed together, hence why some batches taste fine, and others taste like crap. It is mixed for about 10 minutes or so, and then the mixture is dumped into a hopper. This hopper then fills the 2 and 5 lb jugs. I noticed a lot of variation in the product when it was being dispensed-uneven mixtures. I hope that the problem has been solved.
Next issue, is the quality of the whey they use. ON uses a lot of whey isolate and concentrate from New Zealand. The problem with the whey concentrate, is that it is 38% whey concentrate BY VOLUME. So, only 38% of the 80-100lb sack of raw material is actually protein, the rest is filler. BUT, the FDA will still allow it to be 80-100 lbs of protein. Shugart hinted about this practice in his article.
So, if you mix two scoops of 100% Whey, it should be about 40 grams of protein, yet you will trully get about 18-20 grams of protein. Yes, this is legal, yet shady.
This is also why some companies can pimp out the protein dirt cheap. This is why I will only use Metabolic Drive series of proteins. I have used Grow! since 2000, and it has consistently tasted the same, and the quality of the product is outstanding. -Starkdog