Forager maps the world’s plant bioactives – the 99% of compounds that have yet to be characterized, and what Brightseed refers to as “the dark matter of nutrition” - and understands which of them have the greatest impact using a digital model of human health. Discoveries undergo clinical evaluation, regulatory review, and commercial development to deliver powerful, natural solutions.
The new partnership focuses on black pepper and garlic and will use Forager to analyze and identify how different regions, cultivars, growing conditions, and processing methods impact phytochemical expression and bioactive potency across multiple areas of human health for ofi’s black pepper estates and its U.S-based garlic sources. ofi hopes to learn which varieties deliver the highest levels of bioactives.
“Throughout ofi’s history, we’ve invested in plant science, identifying and developing quality varieties of black pepper and garlic for our customers,” said Greg Estep, managing director and CEO of ofi’s spices business. “Spices are largely valued for flavor but should also be explored for health applications. These data insights will help us unlock the health potential and differentiation in our spice supply and fuel future innovation. ofi continues to invest in its broad product portfolio through our customer solutions and ingredient excellence centers.”
Estep told NutraIngredients-USA that the this is phase 1 in a potentially longer-term partnership between Brightseed and ofi to invest further in understanding what novel health benefits exist in ofi’s spices and what additional value we can provide to our customers.
“Phase 1 is expected to run through late spring 2022, and we’ll evaluate as we gather data and insights from the partnership and hope to drive innovation in these spices at our ingredient excellence centers in Fresno, California and Vietnam,” he said.
Sofia Elizondo, co-founder and chief operating officer of Brightseed, added: “We are thrilled to be working with ofi to drive consumer health conversations back to nature.
“ofi has a strong black pepper footprint which provides Forager with access to a range of cultivars with a view to developing a robust comparative model of bioactive potency and density. Brightseed is seeking to build the data and validation that food and health industries need to establish a foundation on the true value of plants for human health optimization.”