The ileal digestibilities of maize starch and native pea starch do not differ. However maize starch is digested faster than pea starch and the ileal amino acid digestibility of a diet containing pea starch is lower. In the present study, the net portal fluxes of glucose, lactate, volatile fatty acids (VFA) and amino acids were measured for diets including 650 g maize starch or pea starch/kg. The diets were fed at a level 870 kJ digestible energy/kg0.75 twice daily (06.00 and 18.00 hours) to four female pigs in a crossover design. Portal vein blood flow did not differ between maize and pea starches (1620 and 1484 ml/min respectively; sed 100; P = 0.23). For maize starch portal glucose flux was significantly higher during the first 6 h after feeding, was not different 8 h after feeding and was significantly lower thereafter. Net portal glucose flux was higher for maize starch than for pea starch (1759 and 1265 mmol/12 h respectively; sed 182; P = 0.054). Net portal lactate flux was not significantly different between maize and pea starches (36.5 and 67.2 mmol/12 h respectively; sed 24.1; P = 0.27) and net portal VFA flux was lower for maize starch than for pea starch (169 and 218 mmol/12 h respectively; SED 18; P = 0.054). Net portal fluxes of valine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, arginine, serine, cystine, tyrosine, lysine, histidine and the sum of essential amino acids tended to be or were higher (P < 0.1 or P<0.05) and net portal flux of aspartic acid tended to be lower for pea starch (P<0.1). It can be concluded that, although ileal digestibility of both starches is equal, the rate of appearance of glucose in the portal vein was higher for maize starch, influencing the net portal flux of amino acids.