New way of producing useful compounds from birch for the cosmetics industry

Cosmetics from Birch Leaves

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has used plant or birch tree cell culture technology. They used it to develop new types of ingredients for the cosmetics industry. Cell cultures originate from birch leaves and seeds, produce pigments. In addition, compounds help to keep products. They also inhibit the growth of harmful microbes. Cell culture technology is a natural and environmentally friendly production method.

Biotechnology-assisted production provides many advantages. Thats compared to using traditional plant materials. Plant-based compounds of consistently high quality and produced for industrial use year-round. They are also free of pollution and plant diseases.

Birch Tree Cell Cultures

Birch tree cell cultures can produce pigments. They produce yellow carotenoids and red anthocyanins. As well, various amino acids important for the skin. They also produce essential fatty acids for humans. Some examples are linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acids. These acids play an important role in maintaining the skin’s moisture and elasticity. The chemical composition of cultured cells is different from the real plant. Furthermore, compound production volumes influenced by different biotechnological processing methods.

Due to their composition, birch cell cultures have antioxidant properties. These properties can improve preserving products and antimicrobial properties. The properties can influence the microflora of the skin. It does that by inhibiting the growth of harmful microbes. So it seems that In the cell culture technology developed by VTT, LEDs can greatly increase the amount of red pigment. LEDs can positively affect the antioxidative properties of cells. Finally, they increase their antimicrobial activity.

In addition, Birch tree cell cultures also produce interesting polyphenols. Interestingly, it’s a kind that are not found in birch. In general and in addition, polyphenols are powerful antioxidants. As well, they prevent harmful oxidation reactions on the skin caused by free radicals. Seems the cultures can also prevent fats from oxidation and a longer shelf-life.


Birch tree cell cultures have been plant biotechnology research by VTT over 20 years ago. Since then, cultures have been stored in liquid nitrogen in VTT Culture Collection. The idea of using birch cell cultures in cosmetics launched in a project belonging to VTT’s Innovative Business from Emerging Technologies Programme.

VTT Culture Collection:

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