Leveraging Brightseed’s artificial intelligence, Ocean Spray will unlock new compounds inside the Cranberry, powering next generation health innovation in the superfruit’s healthy product line
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families, and Brightseed, an A.I.-led biosciences company recognized as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, announced an agreement to leverage Brightseed’s A.I., Forager®, to profile the compounds in cranberries and surface new connections between cranberries and human health. The collaboration with Brightseed puts Ocean Spray on the path to having the world’s most comprehensive nutritional profile of the cranberry — including the cranberries’ previously unknown bioactive compounds and potential health benefits.
“Similar to how different grapes produce different wine varietals, each cranberry strain can be extraordinarily diverse in their phytochemical composition, resulting in different colours, flavour nuances, size, and a trove of health-promoting bioactive compounds,” said Katy Galle, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. “Our agreement with Brightseed puts us on a path to profiling our cranberry varieties and understanding their health potential like never before. The insights from this agreement will support us as we continue to innovate healthy products for our consumers, in addition to informing how we grow, separate, and treat our cranberries to optimize for target health benefits and sustainability.”
Cranberries have long been considered a superfruit and are celebrated as a rich source of polyphenols with high antioxidant activity. “Some of the cranberry’s potent health benefits are well-known, including their impact on bladder and kidney function. With over 100 cranberry varieties, the vast majority of compounds in cranberries have never been explored for their impact in the human body, however, they carry enormous potential to open up new dimensions for health and wellness.”
According to Christina Khoo, Director Emerging Science, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs at Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., leveraging the A.I Forager to deep dive into the bioactive components in cranberry varietals helped accelerate Ocean Spray’s innovation activities to evaluate exciting health benefits of cranberries including immunity and cognitive health and build the scientific evidence.
“We are thrilled at the early findings of this discovery work which is showcasing how important crop diversity and growing practices are for bioactive content and expression,” said Sofia Elizondo, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Brightseed. “The question Forager is able to answer is not just ‘what is in a cranberry?’ but also ‘what is different about all these cranberry varieties?’ With Forager’s insights, Ocean Spray’s stewardship will be taken to the next level and so will consumer comprehension of what a cranberry can do for health.”
Forager, Brightseed’s proprietary A.I. and an R&D 100 Award winning technology, illuminates what have been traditionally opaque to science – the complex, molecular structures of plant compounds – and maps their impact on human biology. In a few months of A.I.-powered analysis on Ocean Spray’s cranberry strains, Forager found 10x more bioactive phytochemicals and 4x more phytonutrients across a sample of Ocean Spray’s cranberry varieties. Moreover, multiple cranberry strains were packed with more than 350 bioactive compound classes with promise to positively impact immunity and cognition – new territories of health benefits that were previously unknown in cranberries.
Forager’s discoveries may then be evaluated through in vitro validation and potentially human clinical trials to enable clinically proven claims for Ocean Spray’s future product innovations.