Artificial Intelligence: Brightseed, Which Uses AI To Explore Phytonutrients, Taps $27M
Phytonutrients are called the “dark matter of nutrition” because we know so little about them.
Brightseed, a biosciences and AI company based in the U.S., achieved fame with its discovery of a phytonutrient – a substance that plants produce to support their growth and defend against pathogens or predators. However, inside the human body, these compounds display anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and neuroprotective abilities.
Forager, Brightseed’s AI technology, is used in conjunction with sophisticated metabolomics instrumentation to identify unknown plant compounds and predict their likely roles in human health. If feasible, Brightseed or its partners could cultivate these plants to synthesize ingredients for use in human edibles.
Examples of phytonutrients include resveratrol, found in red grape skins, or lycopene, found in tomatoes.
According to the World Economic Forum, the phytonutrient that Brightseed discovered has the potential to improve metabolic health.
“The impact of this discovery could be wide-reaching and have profound implications for more than two billion people worldwide at elevated risk of chronic metabolic diseases,” says the WEF.
Brightseed’s discovery shows how nutritional understanding can bring positive change in people’s lives, the WEF added.
“Much like mapping the human genome opened up a new era for medicine, using Forager AI to map the connections between plants and people is one of the most exciting new frontiers of science,” said Jim Flatt, Co-founder and CEO of Brightseed.
Brightseed raises $27 million
Meanwhile, the startup announced Tuesday that it raised $27 million in growth funding. Lewis & Clark AgriFood led the round. (BEVNET)
Talking to TechCrunch, Flatt said:
“This capital raise is going to allow us to really accelerate that exploration of the dark matter of nutrition. All of these phytonutrients that we know exist. This forager AI platform that we’ve built… we’ve developed a proprietary library that’s about 5 times what the world knows [and] one of the powers of Forager is as we do find known or new compounds we’re able to predict their utility with respect to health.”
Brightseed is using its Forager platform to partner with industry leaders such as Danone North America.
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