San Francisco, CA, and Paris-Saclay, France—Danone has announced a multi-year partnership with biosciences company Brightseed to advance Danon’s plant-based expertise, according to a press release.
Brightseed is the creator of Forager, an artificial intelligence platform that maps and predicts the health impact of plant-based compounds. Brightseed is partnering with Danone to establish the blueprint for a health-forward, regenerative food system while accelerating Danone’s development of plant-based products.
The partnership comes after a proof-of-concept collaboration between Brightseed and Danone North America. The two companies have worked together since last year. In that time, Forager uncovered 10 times more bioactives than previously known in one single plant, and seven new health areas.
“At Danone, we support health by making it as accessible as possible through food,” said Taisa Hansen, SVP of Research and Innovation at Danone Nutricia Research, in the press release. “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. 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 bioactive compounds are known to science, the press release states. 12 plants—including corn, rice, wheat, soy, and oats—currently account for 75% of the global food system. Forager is intended to help bring a deeper understanding of what makes these plants such a cornerstone, and to help explore new territories for plant-based innovation.
Together, Danone and Brightseed intend to leverage Forager’s analyses to explore beyond standard nutritional conventions, and look deeper at the health potential of plant sources from around the world by pinpointing their bioactive compounds.
“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.”
Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University and Brightseed scientific advisor, added: “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. 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.”
Brightseed’s goal: By 2025, the company intends to map all of the approximately 10 million bioactive compounds in the plant kingdom to determine their health impacts.