ADM and Brightseed partner to leverage AI to decode the gut microbiome
07 Apr 2023 --- ADM and bioactive ingredients company Brightseed have joined forces to develop evidence-based functional synbiotic products that target microbiome enhancement. The companies plan to decipher the molecular interactions between dietary plants and gut microbes and their impact on human health by leveraging Brightseed’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform.
NutritionInsight speaks with Mark Lotsch, president of Global Health and Wellness at ADM and Sofia Elizondo, co-founder and chief operating officer at Brightseed.
“Brightseed and ADM are launching the next-generation of synbiotic products that will have a more precise health impact for consumers,” explains Elizondo. “Synbiotics are so-called because of the synergistic effects between prebiotics and probiotics to positively affect the populations of microbes living in our gut.”
“We are excited about the potential this partnership provides in better understanding the vast possibilities of the gut microbiome and help develop the next-generation of health and wellness innovations.”
Unlocking gut health with AI
Brightseed’s Forager AI can discover bioactive ingredients in plants and map them out to specific modes of action, providing insights into biological changes that occur at the cellular level.
The companies will use the AI platform to discover bioactive ingredients to be used as synbiotics – gut health solutions that combine probiotics with prebiotics in food products and supplements.
“We are still in the early stages of development, but we have our sights set on launching highly efficacious synbiotics in 2025, with the intention for the solutions to be able to be incorporated into dietary supplements, as well as functional foods and beverages,” says Lotsch.
“With the ability to analyze substantial amounts of data accurately and efficiently, AI is increasingly significant for scientific discovery, especially in the microbiome modulation arena. We expect new AI platforms such as Forager to unlock new interactions and insights at the cellular level. We look forward to working with Brightseed to unveil those findings further.”
Furthemore, Brightseed recently shared preclinical data showing that two bioactive compounds in hemp, discovered by the company’s AI platform, have the potential to support gut barrier function.
“The integration of ADM’s vast microbial library to Forager’s bioactive compound data offers a more expansive and richer library of bioactives to investigate for human health outcomes,” adds Elizondo. “This collaboration has the potential to accelerate the scientific understanding of the gut microbiome in total and the complex interactions that occur on the molecular level.”
Unexplored functions of the microbiome
Scientific studies highlight the importance of the gut microbiome in human health. Still, ADM and Brightseed note more research is needed on the specific functions of the diverse microbial communities and diet-microbiome-host interactions.
“The complex ecosystem of the gut microbiome can play a vital role in an individual’s overall health and wellness,” Lotsch underscores. “In addition to supporting digestion, there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating a connection between the gut microbiome and the brain, immune function and more.”
“There is still much to be explored in the microbiome space and this partnership with Brightseed has the potential to move the needle forward in terms of our overall understanding of the relationship between the microbiome and functional ingredients.”
ADM recently expanded its pro- and postbiotic production to meet consumer demand in the gut microbiome space.
Driving category innovation
Gut health remains at the center of overall health as industry experts indicate that prebiotics are essential for a healthy microbiome.
“Microbiome-supporting solutions that can withstand different formulation conditions – from high heat to pasteurization and varying pH levels – are more important than ever to providing the personalized support consumers are demanding from their health and wellness products,” explains Lotsch.
“Our research into global consumer trends shows that macro forces, including the lingering pandemic, have coincided with an increased demand for natural and plant-based solutions that target immune function, metabolic health and mental well-being.”
“Brightseed and ADM share the conviction that precision health outcomes for consumers should be driving category innovation,” concludes Elizondo.
By Jolanda van Hal
This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst’s sister website, NutritionInsight.
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