Created to recognise and reward innovative food products that have also enjoyed major commercial success, the Sial d'Or awards are among the most prestigious at the exhibition.

Winning products in eight categories are selected by an international jury from 26 countries and go forward to the final, with the ultimate accolade, the Global Sial d'Or, being announced on 23 October.

Winners are also picked out from each country's nominees.

Israel and Canada both triumphed in two categories. Israeli entries took the title in fresh non-dairy products with bite-sized pieces of kosher beef, and in savoury frozen products with oven-ready frozen Borekas from Tivall, which also won its country award.

Canada's first success came from Campbell's Soup at Hand, a soup-on-the-go option in a microwave-friendly cup, which shared the savoury grocery products award with Chef Spray Vinegar from Cerebos Greggs in Hungary.

The other winner from Canada was French Rabbit vintage Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay Pays d'Oc wines in Tetra Pak containers from René Clément, which won alcoholic drinks and also took the country gong.

The Netherlands also did well, scoring wins in fresh dairy products with a range of ice creams, yoghurts, yoghurt drinks and beverages from Campina, which also received its country award, and with Vie fruit and ­vegetable juice from ­Unilever in the non-alcoholic drinks section.

Vie was also a winner for Ireland and Belgium and won both these country titles. It shared the non-alcoholic drinks award with Bionade's chilled non-alcoholic organic drinks from Germany, which also won that country's accolade.

The other section winners included an instant powdered jelly dessert mix designed to be made with cold water and to set in an hour from New Zealand, which was top sweet grocery product, and ten flavours of bite-sized ice cream snacks in a tub from Dreyer's, which took the sweet frozen products title for the US and won that country's award.

Among the country awards, cheese products did well, triumphing among four countries'

line-ups, while alcoholic drinks took pride of place for another four collections, as did juice drinks.

As well as starring among the US's ranks, ice cream also won in the ­Chilean and Turkish stables, while Doddington Dairies' From A Flower ­

four-flavour luxury ice cream range in gift-style packaging took the overall British gong. n