VTT grows birch cell cultures useful in cosmetics
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a new method to produce cell cultures from birch leaves and seeds, with useful qualities for the cosmetics industry.
VTT used cell culture technology, an environmentally-friendly production method, to grow birch cell cultures that can produce pigments, and various amino and fatty acids important for the skin.
Due to their composition, they also have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that can improve preservation of products and inhibit the growth of harmful microbes on the skin.
“Cell cultures provide an opportunity to utilise wood material in a new way,” says Riitta Puupponen-Pimiä, principal scientist at VTT. “By natural means, we can obtain compounds that have not traditionally been associated with birch, such as anthocyanin pigments which belong to the group of red polyphenols.”
The research centre first used birch cell cultures in plant biotechnology research more than 20 years ago. Since then, it has stored them in the VTT Culture Collection, an international bioresource centre. The idea to use them for cosmetics stemmed from VTT’s Innovative Business from Emerging Technologies Programme.