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Micaela Hayes

Micaela Hayes

Innovation Analyst


PhD, Food Science, North Carolina State University
BS, Nutrition, North Carolina State University
BS, Food Science, North Carolina State University


Micaela Hayes is an Innovation Analyst with RTI Innovation Advisors, a business unit of RTI International, where she works primarily with corporate and not-for-profit food and agriculture clients. Through primary and secondary research, she assesses product and technical feasibility, market opportunity, and scouts new technologies to inform research and development teams and direct business leaders.

Dr. Hayes leans on her nutrition background to distill the state of the science regarding the health benefits of food ingredients to inform clients on emerging ingredients and nutritional claim substantiation. Her synthesis of market opportunity and technical feasibility assessments across multiple segments of the food industry has guided decision makers towards market entry points, promising valorization pathways, and new technology solutions. With expertise in plant proteins, Dr. Hayes drives industry adoption of ingredients through identifying analyses and technologies to optimize their assessment and processing.

Before joining RTI in 2021, Dr. Hayes interned at PepsiCo’s research and development labs where she optimized product formulations and developed new product concepts from ideation to prototype. Prior to PespiCo, as an intern at NASA’s Advanced Food Technology Lab, she assessed formulations and technologies to extend the shelf life of food for space flight.

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