About

The Epicurious Hedgehog is Natural Extracts Industries Ltd.’s (NEI) line of flavour extracts. The Epicurious Hedgehog flavour extracts are made using only natural ingredients. We start with hand-harvested crops (vanilla pods, orange peels, and cacao beans) for use in our traditional extraction method. A low-temperature process is used to ensure we capture most of the delicate flavour compounds from these aromatic plants.

We offer a variety of extract strengths, ranging from regular concentration (e.g., 1-fold) for typical home use, to higher strengths for discerning chefs, dairy processors and specialty foodservice applications.

Our flavour extracts include Kilimanjaro Vanilla, Tanga Orange and Mbeya Cacao, and our cocoa products include Mbeya Cocoa Powder and Mbeya Cocoa Nibs. Stay tuned for new flavour products like single-source chocolate baking bars.

Gourmet Vanilla Pods:
Our gourmet beans are grown exclusively by smallholder farmers in the Kilimanjaro, Morogoro and Kagera regions of Tanzania, giving a unique taste due to the climatic and soil conditions in each area. The curing takes place at processing centres led by skilled farmers who have been trained in the traditional bourbon method. The intensive and meticulous process yields a deep and complex aroma that will be appreciated by home chefs and restaurateurs alike.

We offer a variety of grades and sizes and our stock varies from season to season. Please enquire for our current availability.

NEI’s vision is to become a leading socially responsible African manufacturer of ethically sourced and sustainably grown natural flavours for the home baking, commercial kitchen and specialty foodservice markets.

We aim to do this by producing the highest quality natural flavours and provide smallholder farmers in our supply chain with a financially viable and environmentally sustainable business model that results in increased incomes for a better quality of life.

We partner with and capacitate local farmers and farmer groups to ensure consistency and continuity of supply, while ensuring that fair prices are passed back to the farmers. Our products are in demand by international buyers as well as within East Africa, where they are distributed through supermarkets, boutique delis and gift shops.

To encourage sustainable and high quality cultivation, the programme has established links with over 1,600 smallholder farmers in the Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Morogoro regions. Through Farmer Champion representatives, our registered farmers receive training in good agricultural practices, including the use of natural biopesticides and composts. We also provide expert advice on financial and organizational matters, in order to help farmers formally organise themselves and access financial services.

Every aspect of production, from cultivation through to post-harvest processing and manufacturing, seeks to use primarily natural materials, inputs and ingredients. Our operations strive to be ecologically friendly, and we actively try to reduce the impact on the environment through recycling and reduction of consumables. We also have a pro-woman staffing policy to promote economic and social empowerment.

Our quality has been recognised both in the regional and international markets, and we continue to explore ways to improve our products and develop new, exotic flavours.