Danone North America and Brightseed announced today that they have formed a partnership to use Brightseed’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform to profile and uncover health benefits of key plant sources.
Part of the food as medicine movement, Brightseed is a three-year-old San Francisco startup that examines plants on a molecular level to uncover hidden phytonutrients that can contribute to healthier lifestyles. As it uncovers compounds, Brightseed’s AI platform is then used to predict what impact they will have on the human body.
An example of a phytonutritional compound would be something like the caffeine in coffee or the antioxidants in blueberries.
“We use AI to illuminate the dark matter of nutrition,” Sofia Elizondo, Co-Founder and COO of Brightseed told me by phone this week. “Once you have completed this circle of knowledge. You can transform the food ecosystem.”
Elizondo explained that Brightseed’s platform works for both the sourcing and production sides of CPGs. On the ag side, it can help identify healthy compounds and encourage plant breeding to maximize those benefits. For CPG companies, Brightseed can help source plants that are beneficial and reveal new phytonutrients in existing plant ingredients around which new products can be built.
The partnership with Danone, which owns the Silk and So Delicious Dairy Free brands, will start with Brightseed turning its AI on soy to illuminate the unknown health benefits of soy.
Brightseed, which has raised and undisclosed sum of venture funding, is among a wave of companies using AI to unlock new understandings of our food. Other companies like Spoonshot and Analytical Flavor Systems are using AI to help predict flavor trends and novel food combinations.
But while those companies are looking at existing data, Brightseed is building an entirely new body of data from which entirely new discoveries can be made.
“A lot of technology in our field is built to manipulate nature,” Elizondo said, “There is so much more to learn from what nature has already provided.”