New Zealand's pioneering deer milk industry has received a further boost by being named a finalist in this year's New Zealand Food Awards.
Pamu, the brand for Landcorp Farming, is a finalist in both the primary sector award and the novel food and beverage award.
Earlier this year, Pamu deer milk won the Grassroots Innovation award at the national field days at Mystery Creek.
The nomination in the Food Awards was further confirmation that the ground-breaking product had a bright future, Pamu chief executive Steve Carden said in a statement.
With its unique composition of fat and protein, deer milk was mainly used in luxury desserts, although some chefs were pushing boundaries by creating savoury dishes.
"Feedback has been uniformly positive. We'd love to see deer milk as a permanent fixture on the New Zealand culinary scene as a testament to how Kiwi chefs can lead the world in culinary innovation," Mr Carden said.
The nomination was further encouragement for the state-owned farming company to keep looking at new ways to drive added-value from non-traditional farming, he said.
Three years of trialling and testing was undertaken by Pamu with partners Sharon and Peter McIntyre, who farm near Gore.
Finalists in the food awards comprised 67 products from 54 companies, and winners would be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland in October.
Alliance Group's Te Mana Lamb is a finalist in the frozen award and the primary sector products award.
It came from the Omega Lamb Project, which had the goal of producing the world's tastiest and healthiest lamb.
It centred on the links between long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated (good) fats and low pH in a specially-bred line of lambs.