TheInstitute of Food Technologistspresented an "Industrial Achievement Award" to ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb., for its Healthy Choice Café Steamers product platform. IFT said its award judges described Café Steamers as “a significant improvement in frozen meal preparation and quality.”

IFT said the award honors a company or organization for “an outstanding development, which represents a significant advance in the application of food science and technology to food production.” IFT pfficials presented the award to ConAgra during the organization's recent annual meeting and expo in Chicago.

“Café Steamers are a true representation of our efforts to use science and innovation to bring consumers high-quality, fresh-tasting food that’s also convenient,” said Gordon Smith, ConAgra Foods' vice president of research and development. “To be selected by peer scientists for this award is a real honor.”

ConAgra said the Healthy Choice Café Steamers line named ranked as the number one new food item, measured by sales in 2008, according to SymphonyIRI Group tracking data. The product also received a World Packaging Organisation WorldStar Award in 2009, when it was awarded top honors with the President’s Award Gold. Café Steamers use tray-in-tray steaming technology to separate sauce from frozen ingredients, using steam to cook the meal.