Xuebo Song

Postdoctoral Fellow


Postdoctoral Fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center


Ph.D., Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology

Laboratory Of

Dr. Joel Mainland

Research Summary

My research focuses on predicting odor mixture perception from chemical structure using machine learning and testing those predictions using a mixture olfactometer that can reliably deliver complex olfactory stimuli. My main aims are to develop and validate a mixture olfactometer and then use that device to test predictive models. My approach combines gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and other analytical chemistry techniques, machine learning, and human psychophysics to gather comprehensive data on odor perception.

The potential significance of this research lies in its ability to elevate olfactory stimulus control to the level of how we deliver visual and auditory stimuli. We hope to apply this to identify how the brain encodes different smells. Furthermore, it has practical applications in quantifying flavor, which could impact industries such as food and beverage, perfumery, and environmental monitoring.


Machine learning; flavor chemistry; analytical chemistry; human behavior

Representative Publications

Xuebo Song, Mark E. Porter, Vance M. Whitaker, Seonghee Lee & Yu Wang* (2023). Identification of ethyl vanillin in strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) using a targeted metabolomics strategy: From artificial to natural. Food Chemistry: X, 20, 100944.

Xuebo Song, Si Jing, Lin Zhu, Chenfei Ma, Tao Song, Jihong Wu, Qiangzhong Zhao*, Fuping Zheng, Mouming Zhao & Feng Chen. (2020). Untargeted and targeted metabolomics strategy for the classification of strong aroma-type Baijiu (Liquor) according to geographical origin using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Food Chemistry, 314, 126098.

Xuebo Song, Lin Zhu, Xinlei Wang, Fuping Zheng*, Mouming Zhao, Yuping Liu, Hehe Li, Fuyan Zhang, Yuhang Zhang & Feng Chen. (2019) Characterization of key aroma-active sulfur-containing compounds in Chinese Laobaigan Baijiu by gas chromatography-olfactometry and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled with sulfur chemiluminescence detection. Food Chemistry, 297, 124959.

Xuebo Song, Lin Zhu, Si Jing, Qing Li, Jian Ji, Fuping Zheng*, Qiangzhong Zhao*, Jinyuan Sun, Feng Chen, Mouming Zhao & Baoguo Sun (2020). Insight into the role of 2-methyl-3-furanthiol and 2-furfurylthiol as markers for the differentiation of Chinese light, strong and soy sauce aroma types Baijiu. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 68, 7946-7954.

Xuebo Song, Lin Zhu, Xiaojie Geng, Qing Li, Fuping Zheng*, Qiangzhong Zhao, Jian Ji, Jinyuan Sun, Hehe Li, Jihong Wu, Mouming Zhao & Baoguo Sun. (2021) Analysis, occurrence, and potential sensory significance of tropical fruit aroma thiols, 3-mercaptohexanol and 4-methyl-4-mercapto-2-pentanone, in Chinese Baijiu. Food Chemistry, 58, 130232.