Into every Mars creation goes a little—or a lot—of science, as we research, analyze and learn how to create the highest quality products and services. But at Mars, it's not just about what we sell. We believe that today's research can lead to a better future that's healthier and more sustainable for communities across the globe.
Here are three recent Mars scientific research projects, and how the results will impact the future.
- We worked with global partners to apply a technology called Foldit, a puzzle-based video game, to seek solutions with the potential to help eradicate aflatoxins, a group of food borne carcinogens produced by certain fungi in crops such as wheat, maize and peanuts. The goal? To tap the brains of puzzle-lovers to help identify possible solutions that Mars scientists can investigate further in the laboratory with the aim of eventually eradicating deadly aflatoxins.
- The Baobab tree, papaya and the Bambara ground nut are essential African food crops. Mars helped establish the African Orphan Crops Consortium to study these plants with the aim of improving them so they will be more nutritious and withstand the effects of climate change. Our Associates worked with Google, UNICEF and other partners to sequence the genomes of these and 98 other African food crops, helping to ensure a healthy, nutritious future for the 600 million rural Africans—small farmers and their families—who depend on them.
- Flavanols are natural compounds found in many plants. Around 20 years ago, we launched the world's largest program studying the dietary effects of cocoa flavanoids. Our team of Associates, along with partner institutions that include National Institutes of Health and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, have established that these flavanoids positively contribute to cardiovascular and cognitive health, helping to keep blood vessels flexible and at their peak. (Before you stock up on chocolate, remember these benefits come from compounds in cocoa pods, little of which can be found in your typical chocolate bar.)
Science is so central to Mars that we established our Scientific Research and Engagement Policy, which governs the way we conduct and monitor all the research we're involved in to ensure the highest of scientific standards. It's our goal to give our Associates—along with our global partners—every tool necessary to conduct credible, high-quality scientific research that has a significant positive impact on the world around us.