Skip to main content

U of M startup to use birch bark for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A University of Minnesota venture called The Actives Factor plans to extract and synthesize naturally occurring chemicals in birch bark to create pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial products and nutritional supplements, according to a news release.

"We believe we have some products that are unique, in demand, and highly beneficial which come from a natural, sustainable, and renewable resource," said Brian Garhofer, president and CEO of The Actives Factory. "What was once being burned is now being brought out for human health benefits."

The Business Journal says the Two Harbors, Minn.-based startup will use techniques developed by Pavel Krasutsky, director of the Chemical Extractives Program at the University of Minnesota Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth, and begin manufacturing this spring.

The birch bark will be collected from regional paper mills, which often consider it a waste product and typically burn it, the Associated Press reports.

Next Up

ITT Tech

Student loans cancelled for 1,380 Minnesota ITT Tech students

President Joe Biden moved to cancel the federal debt this week.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 2.17.19 PM

Twine kills 2 young ospreys in Long Lake, Minnesota

One bird was found hanging by its leg from the nest.

Mindy Kiepe

5 Great Danes kill owner on northwest Iowa farm

The dogs were euthanized after the incident.

Becker Public Schools

School district sued by teachers' union over staff 'gag order'

The district has faced heightened scrutiny for months now.

Andrew Luger, former U.S. Attorney of Minnesota

After dozens of arrests, concern over rising 'militaristic' weapons on MN streets

The U.S. Attorney provided an update on the violent crime strategy in collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 1.31.41 PM

Outrage after ‘vote with bullets’ remarks from GOP Senate candidate

The candidate's comments were recently brought to light in a video recording.

State Patrol

2 killed after driver crosses center line near Silver Lake

A toddler in the vehicle survived the crash.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 4.12.14 PM

The answer to winter woes: St. Paul's upcoming Palm Springs-style supper club

Take a first look at inside the menu at The Apostle Supper Club.

Muhammad Masood

Guilty plea: Ex-Mayo Clinic researcher tried to fly to Syria and fight for ISIS

Muhammad Masood, 30, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization in U.S. District Court Tuesday.