Blue Diamond and Brightseed, the bioactives company and a World Economic Forum Global Innovator, today announced their partnership to discover the untapped health potential of nonpareil California almonds. The results of this collaboration will inform Blue Diamond’s health innovations and programs, including consumer education initiatives to link almond consumption with specific health benefits.
Brightseed is a pioneer in exploring the potential of bioactives—the health-benefiting molecules produced by plants that trigger specific health benefits—through its proprietary AI, Forager.
Through a collaborative research program, Forager profiled Blue Diamond’s whole natural almonds and identified 188 predicted bioactive compounds with potential to impact several areas of human health, including mental wellness, metabolic health, and immunity.
“As an almond-focused grower cooperative and an innovation leader in almond-based ingredients and consumer products, we are thrilled to collaborate with Brightseed to gain a deeper understanding of this unique superfood,” Blue Diamond’s Senior Director of R&D Kurt Waananen said. “Almonds are already well-studied, but this collaboration gives us a deeper understanding and new ways to view future exploration of nutritional benefits and clinical studies.”
Almonds are widely considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods and have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including heart health, blood glucose management, satiety/weight management, and gut health. Initial research also suggests that almonds may reduce wrinkles and skin pigmentation and help protect skin from UVB light.
Nevertheless, despite extensive research on the nutrients within almonds, the results from this partnership suggest there are additional bioactive compounds in almonds that may impact human health in new ways.
The opportunity to discover additional, untapped health benefits for almonds was applauded by Blue Diamond Growers’ Senior Director of Consumer Insights Sarb Dhanjal.
“At Blue Diamond, we closely monitor trends and conduct consumer research to understand how people overall feel about their food, diet, and eating and drinking habits,” Dhanjal said. “We’ve found that consumers today want to lead healthier lifestyles but find it difficult to prioritize nutrition as a daily habit. 'The Global Future of Food Survey' by McKinsey & Company confirms that consumers worldwide desire to eat better, but nearly half struggle to find the right way to do so."
“Today’s consumers view Blue Diamond as a trusted brand and the leader in almond product innovations,” Dhanjal continued. “Consumers are also navigating a highly crowded marketplace with the proliferation of plant-based food and beverage options claiming holistic health benefits. To that end, I am excited for this collaboration with Brightseed to bring forward the health benefits of almonds in new and differentiating ways to our well-poised portfolio of consumer brands and ingredients.”
“Science has long known that bioactives are essential health-driving components within plants, but pinpointing their underlying mechanisms of action has been a largely intractable problem for the food, health, and nutrition industries,” Brightseed Co-Founder and COO Sofia Elizondo said. “Our work with Blue Diamond enables Forager to tap into a global food staple and illuminate the almond health story for consumers worldwide. This is an important leap for the industry to champion food and functional ingredients as powerful and accessible modalities for precision nutrition for proactive health.”
Brightseed’s Forager connects compounds in nature and human biology at a rate, speed, and scale that was previously impossible. Brightseed and Blue Diamond will be assessing options for further research to expand on the scientific understanding of how almonds contribute to human health, including to new areas previously unattributed to almond consumption.