Cereals are the edible seeds or grains of the grass family. Cereals have been part of the human diet since prehistoric times. There are many different types of cereal grains, each having unique properties. Most cereals are processed to form other foods or ingredients. Cereals and cereal products are an important source of energy, carbohydrate, protein and fibre. They also contain a range of micronutrients such as vitamin E, some of the B vitamins, sodium, magnesium and zinc. Wheat and rice are the most important cereal crops world-wide as they account for over 50% of the world’s cereal production. Each cereal has unique properties which make it suitable for a variety of food products. Cereals require different conditions to grow. For example, rice is grown in damp tropical climates and oats in cold temperate climates, e.g. Scotland. Cereals are also known as ‘staple foods’ as they often make up the bulk of the diet since they are relatively cheap to produce.