News

Danone and Brightseed Expand Partnership To Discover Health Benefits in Plants Using Artificial Intelligence

Under Danone’s stewardship, Brightseed will discover bioactive compounds hidden in plants,
common crops to inform the future of healthy foods

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. & PARIS-SACLAY, FRANCE (August 4, 2021) — 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 multiyear 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.

ABOUT BRIGHTSEED

Brightseed enables a healthier future by illuminating and activating the biological connections between plants and people. Brightseed’s Forager® is the first and only artificial intelligence to map the world’s plant bioactives and understand which of them have the greatest impact on human health. Discoveries undergo clinical evaluation, regulatory review, and commercial development to deliver powerful, yet natural solutions. Interested organizations can contact Brightseed by reaching out to info@brightseedbio.com.

ABOUT DANONE

Danone is a leading multi-local food and beverage company building on health-focused and fast growing categories in 3 businesses: Essential Dairy & Plant-Based products, Waters and Specialized Nutrition. With its ‘One Planet. One Health’ frame of action, which considers the health of people and the planet as intimately interconnected, Danone aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices. To accelerate this food revolution and create superior, sustainable, profitable value for all its stakeholders, Danone has defined nine 2030 Goals, and paved the way as the first listed company to adopt the “Entreprise à Mission” status in France. With a purpose to bring health through food to as many people as possible, and corresponding social, societal and environmental objectives set out in its articles of association, Danone commits to operating in an efficient, responsible and inclusive manner, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. By 2025, Danone aims to become one of the first multinational companies to obtain B Corp™ certification. With more than 100,000 employees, and products sold in over 120 markets, Danone generated €23.6 billion in sales in 2020. Danone’s portfolio includes leading international brands (Actimel, Activia, Alpro, Aptamil, Danette, Danio, Danonino, evian, Nutricia, Nutrilon, Volvic, among others) as well as strong local and regional brands (including AQUA, Blédina, Bonafont, Cow & Gate, Horizon Organic, Mizone, Oikos, Prostokvashino, Silk). Listed on Euronext Paris and present on the OTCQX market via an ADR (American Depositary Receipt) program, Danone is a component stock of leading sustainability indexes including the ones managed by Vigeo Eiris and Sustainalytics, as well as the Ethibel Sustainability Index, the MSCI ESG Indexes, the FTSE4Good Index Series, Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and the Access to Nutrition Index. (www.danone.com)

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Media Contact:
Serene Buckley
Good Nature Ventures
serene@goodnature.ventures
+1-415-613-1580