Danone expands partnership with Brightseed to accelerate knowledge of health benefits in plants

Danone expanded its partnership with Brightseed to accelerate knowledge of plant bioactives and their health benefits.

Following the success of Danone North America’s partnership with Brightseed (San Francisco, CA), creator of Forager artificial intelligence, Danone SA (Paris-Saclay, France) announced that it will be expanding the partnership into a three-year strategic collaboration to build unparalleled understanding of the world’s most common crops, and explore lesser known plant sources. Out of this partnership, Danone hopes to establish the blueprint for a health-forward and regenerative food system while accelerating the firm’s development of category-leading plant-based foods. As an example of what’s already been accomplished during Danone North America’s partnership with Brightseed, the Forager AI uncovered 10 times more bioactives than previously known and seven new health areas, in a single plant, in a matter of months.

“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, senior vice president of research and innovation at Danone Nutricia Research, in a press release. “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.”

Currently, less than 1% of bioactives in plants are known to science, and only 12 plants, such as corn, rice, wheat, soy, and oats account for 75% of the global food system. Brightseed’s AI can help identify new biological connections between the bioactives present in these plant sources and human health so their untapped potential can be mined and new territories for plant-based innovation can be explored.

“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.”

“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,” added 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.”

According to Brightseed, the firm’s AI will map all of the approximately 10 million bioactive compounds in the plant kingdom to their health impacts by 2025.