Danone and Brightseed Expand Partnership To Discover Health Benefits in Plants Using Artificial Intelligence
Leading global food & beverage company Danone and biosciences company Brightseed, creator of Forager® artificial intelligence (A.I.) that maps and predicts the health impact of plant-based compounds, today announced a partnership to advance Danone’s plant-based expertise.
Through a multi- year strategic collaboration, Danone and Brightseed will co-build unparalleled understanding of the world’s most common crops, and will explore lesser known plant sources. The aim of this partnership is to establish the blueprint for a health-forward and regenerative food system while accelerating Danone’s development of category-leading plant-based products. It builds from the success of last year’s partnership between Danone North America and Brightseed, demonstrating the value of this first proof of concept study.
This new partnership comes after Brightseed uncovered groundbreaking information with Danone North America, one of the world’s largest B Corp™ and maker of leading plant-based brands like Silk®, So Delicious® and Follow Your Heart. Since last year, the two companies have focused on identifying new biological connections between bioactives present in Danone’s raw plant sources to human health. In one single plant, in a matter of months, Forager uncovered 10 times more bioactives than previously known and 7 new health areas.
“At Danone, we support health by making it as accessible as possible through food. By partnering with Brightseed, we now have tools to shift the global food-system from one that is yield-driven to one that prioritizes sustainability and health beyond all else,” said Taisa Hansen, SVP of Research and Innovation at Danone Nutricia Research. “Forager is providing unprecedented visibility into the transformative power plants can have on human health.
Ultimately our goal is to make this information non-exclusive so that humanity can benefit from
this collective wisdom and move faster towards a healthier, regenerative food future.”
Bioactives in plants provide significant health benefits for humans, yet currently less than 1% of these compounds are known to science. Only 12 plants — crops such as corn, rice, wheat, soy, oats and others — account for 75% of the global food system. With Brightseed’s capabilities using Forager, there is a wealth of untapped potential to more deeply understand how these
plants maintain their health integrity as the cornerstone of the world’s food supply, and explore
new territories for plant-based innovations. Forager’s discoveries and insights could usher in a new category of functional foods for Danone to commercialize on a global scale.
“Brightseed and Danone share the belief that the health of people and the health of the planet are interconnected,” said Sofia Elizondo, co-founder and COO of Brightseed. “Through unprecedented access and open data exchange between Danone and Brightseed, we are
breaking down the silos that have traditionally kept the food and health industries worlds apart.”
Brightseed is building the world’s largest plant compound library and Forager is able to predict which compounds exist in various plants and how they impact human health outcomes.
Together, Danone and Brightseed will leverage Forager’s machine learning and multi-omics analyses to explore far beyond standard nutritional conventions, and look deeper at the health potential of plant sources from around the world by pinpointing their potent bioactive compounds.
“Leading food companies are increasingly interested in providing products that help to nourish and sustain wellness in their customers, rather than products that contribute to disease,” adds Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University in Boston and Brightseed scientific advisor. “Artificial intelligence is a promising way to improve our molecular understanding of plants and foods, so that we can find newer ways to address chronic diseases, improve nutrition security, and promote healthy living.”
By 2025, Brightseed will map all of the approximately 10 million bioactive compounds in the plant kingdom to their health impacts, unlocking unprecedented access to natural compounds for the food, health and wellness industries.