The University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Lili He

Associate Professor

Dr. He established a Raman, IR, and XRF Core Facility. for details, please refer to:

Dr. He's major research focus is to develop and apply the most advanced and innovative analytical techniques to help solve critical and emerging issues in food science. The central tool of Lili’s research is surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), which is a combination of Raman spectroscopy and nano-techniques. The use of metallic nanostructure enhances the Raman signals more than a million times. Her group has developed various SERS based techniques for food safety and food chemistry applications.

Current Research
Dr. He's current research involves the use of SERS for the study of chemical, biological, and engineered nanoparticles contaminants in complex food matrices. For chemical detection, we have developed several innovative SERS methods for rapid detection of pesticides on and in different food matrices. Recently, we also developed an in situ method to analyze pesticide penetration in plant tissues using gold nanoparticles as probes. For bacterial detection, we have developed a mapping method to detect, identify and quantify multi-bacterial cells on a SERS substrate. Nanoparticle contaminants are a recent focus in my lab, we have successfully developed several SERS methods to detect silver nanoparticles and titanium dioxide nanoparticles in complex matrices.

Learn more at

Academic Background

  •     2004 BS Plant Protection, Zhejiang University, China
  •     2006 MS Plant Pathology, Zhejiang University, China
  •     2009 PhD Food Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
  •     2009-2012 Postdoc Food Science, University of Minnesota


Zhang, Zhiyun, Helen Lin, Chuanxin Ma, Lingzi Zhang, Julia Zelevinsky, Ming Xia, Yuecheng Xu, Jason C. White, Julian Tyson, and Lili He. "Integrating the gutzeit method with X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy for rapid quantification of inorganic arsenic in selected beverages." Food Control (2020): 107588.
Hickey, Michael E., Siyue Gao, and Lili He. "Comparison of label‐free and label‐based approaches for surface‐enhanced Raman microscopic imaging of bacteria cells." Analytical Science Advances.
Dai, Haochen, Qixiang Gao, and Lili He. "Rapid Determination of Saffron Grade and Adulteration by Thin-Layer Chromatography Coupled with Raman Spectroscopy." Food Analytical Methods (2020): 1-10.
Qu, Yanqi, Minqi Wang, Shijun Huang, Eric A. Decker, D. Julian McClements, and Lili He*. "Headspace Characterization and Quantification of Aromatic Organosulfur Compounds in Garlic Extracts Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering with a Mirror-in-a-Cap Substrate." Journal of AOAC International (2020).
Wang, Panxue, Xuejie Wang, Yan Sun, Guoli Gong, Mingtao Fan, and Lili He*. "Rapid identification and quantification of the antibiotic susceptibility of lactic acid bacteria using surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy." Analytical Methods 12, no. 3 (2020): 376-382.
Zhang, Zhiyun, Ming Xia, Chuanxin Ma, Huiyuan Guo, Wenhao Wu, Jason C. White, Baoshan Xing, and Lili He*. "Rapid organic solvent extraction coupled with surface enhanced Raman spectroscopic mapping for ultrasensitive quantification of foliarly applied silver nanoparticles in plant leaves." Environmental Science: Nano 7, no. 4 (2020): 1061-1067.
Qu, Yanqi, and Lili He*. "Development of a facile rolling method to amplify an analyte's weak SERS activity and its application for chlordane detection." Analytical Methods 12, no. 4 (2020): 433-439.
Lin, Zhuangsheng, and Lili He*. "Recent advance in SERS techniques for food safety and quality analysis: a brief review." Current Opinion in Food Science 28 (2019): 82-87.
Contact Info

Department of Food Science
Chenoweth 344
102 Holdsworth Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

(413) 545-5847