Allergen-aware foods, vegan-friendly, hemp-based products, and gin and vodka handcrafted from sheep milk are among innovative foods which have made the finals of the New Zealand Food Awards.
The awards have celebrated New Zealand manufactured products, focusing on innovation and excellence since 1987. Sponsored by the Massey University, they are open to small and large food and beverage manufacturers, primary food producers, food service providers and ingredient supply companies.
Sixty individual products from 48 companies are finalists in 10 categories and one category winner will be named the supreme award winner at a gala dinner in Auckland in October.
The finalists include several winners from previous years - Barker's of Geraldine, Blue Frog Breakfast and The Pure Food Co - as well as new products including goat sausages and freeze-dried honey.
Massey Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said the university's connection to the New Zealand food industry dated back to its inception as an agricultural college, in 1927, and its patronage of the New Zealand Food Awards dates back to the awards' inception 60 years later.
"Through our excellent industry-engaged research and teaching, Massey has a key role in the success of the industry," said said.
"It is particularly good, therefore, to be able to support the innovators and success stories through these awards and we are extremely proud of the role the awards have had in recognising the excellence and importance of our world-class food and beverage industry.
"The standard of this year's entries was, again, outstanding and the calibre and innovation of the finalists reflects the thought, care and artistry of the producers," said Professor Thomas.
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