Zhenlei Xiao

Associate Professor in Residence

Office: Roy E. Jones Building, Room 114
Phone: (860) 486-5547
Email: zhenlei.xiao@uconn.edu



    • Ph.D., Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD(2013)
    • M.S., Nutrition and Food Safety, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China (2008)
    • B.S., Food Science and Engineering, Hebei University of Sci. & Tech., Hebei, China (2005)


    • Associate Professor in Residence (Jan. 2023 – Present) Department of Nutritional Sciences University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
    • Associate Professor (Aug. 2022 – Dec. 2022) Department of Culinary Science & Product Development Johnson & Wales University (JWU), Providence, RI
    • Assistant Professor (Mar. 2019 – Aug. 2022) Department of Culinary Science & Product Development Johnson & Wales University (JWU), Providence, RI
    • Assistant Professor (Aug. 2016 – Mar. 2019) Department of Agriculture, Culinology ® and Hospitality Management Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU), Marshall, MN
    • Post-doctoral Research Associate (Jan. – Dec. 2014, and Feb. – Jul. 2016) Food Quality Laboratory & Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD


Dr. Xiao’s current research area is focusing on improving the nutrition, quality and safety of fresh produce by the exploration of new agricultural practices and pre- & post-harvest interventions. Dr. Xiao’s research interests also include sustainable food systems by investigating the controlled environment agriculture to produce highly nutritious, safe and easily accessible fresh produce for our local communities. In addition, Dr. Xiao’s laboratory will also expand the research area to food innovation and product development, such as upcycling food waste and developing new food and animal feed products with the ultimate goal of commercialization.


    1. M. Du, Z. Xiao, Y. Luo. 2022. Advances and emerging trends in cultivation substrates for growing sprouts and microgreens towards safe and sustainable agriculture. Current Opinion in Food Science, 46, 100863.
    2. J. Xue, Y. Luo, B. Li, X. Wang, Z. Xiao, Y. Luo. 2022. Antimicrobial effects of thymol-loaded phytoglycogen/zein nanocomplexes against foodborne pathogens on fresh produce. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 209, 1188-1196.
    3. X. Guo, Q. Liu, J. Du, Y. Guo, Z. Xiao, L. Kou. 2022. Cold storage agent as a treatment to maintain quality of peanut sprouts in logistics. Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, 9, 100317.
    4. Y. Zhang, Z. Xiao, E. Ager, L. Kong, L. Tan. 2021. Nutritional quality and health benefits of microgreens, a crop of modern agriculture. Journal of Future Foods, 1, 58-66.
    5. Z. Xiao, S. Rausch, Y. Luo, J, Sun, L. Yu, Q. Wang, P. Chen, L. Yu, J. Stommel. 2019. Microgreens of Brassicaceae: Genetic diversity of phytochemical concentrations and antioxidant capacity. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 101, 731-737.
    6. Z. Xiao, E. Codling, Y. Luo, X. Nou, G.E. Lester, Q. Wang. 2016. Mineral composition of 30 selected microgreens in Brassicaceae family. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 49, 87-93.
    7. H. Huang, X. Jiang, Z. Xiao, L. Yu, Q. Pham, J. Sun, P. Chen, W. Yokoyama, L. Yu, Y. Luo, T. Wang. 2016. Red cabbage microgreens lower circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL), liver cholesterol and inflammatory cytokines in mice fed a high-fat diet. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 64, 9161–9171.
    8. Z. Xiao, G.E. Lester, E. Park, R.A. Saftner, Y. Luo, Q. Wang. 2015. Evaluation and correlation of sensory attributes and chemical compositions of emerging fresh produce: microgreens. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 110, 140-148.
    9. Z. Xiao, G. Bauchan, L. Nichols-Russell, Y. Luo, Q. Wang, X. Nou. 2015. Proliferation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in soil-substitute and hydroponic microgreen production systems. Journal of Food Protection, 78, 1785-1790.
    10. Z. Xiao, X. Nou, Y. Luo, Q. Wang. 2014. Comparison of the growth of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and O104:H4 during sprouting and microgreen production from contaminated radish seeds. Food Microbiology, 44, 60-63.
    11. Z. Xiao, G.E. Lester, Y. Luo, Z. Xie, L. Yu, Q. Wang. 2014. Effect of light exposure on sensorial quality, concentrations of bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity of radish microgreens during low temperature storage. Food Chemistry, 151, 472-479.
    12. Z. Xiao, Y. Luo, G.E. Lester, L. Kou, T. Yang, Q. Wang. 2014. Postharvest quality and shelf life of radish microgreens as impacted by storage temperature, packagingatmosphere, and chlorine wash treatment. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 55, 551-558.
    13. J. Sun, Z. Xiao, L. Lin, G.E. Lester, Q. Wang, J.M. Harnly, P. Chen. 2013. Profiling polyphenols in five brassica species microgreens by UHPLC-PDA-ESI/HRMSn . Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61, 10960-10970.
    14. L. Kou, Y. Luo, T. Yang, Z. Xiao, E. Turner, G. Lester, Q. Wang, M. Camp. 2013. Postharvest biology, quality and shelf life of buckwheat microgreens. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 51, 73-78.
    15. Z. Xiao, G.E. Lester, Y. Luo, Q. Wang. 2012. Assessment of phytonutrient concentration of emerging food products: edible microgreens. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 60, 7644-7651.
    16. Z. Xiao, Y. Luo, Y. Luo, Q. Wang. 2011. Combined effects of sodium chlorite dip treatment and edible coatings on the quality of fresh-cut d'Anjou pears. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 62, 319-326.