Digestion of fat in pancreatic insufficiency (PI) is strongly affected by how rapidly fat enters the duodenum. We postulated that: (1) oil empties faster in PI than in normals and (2) in both, it empties in a load-dependent fashion. We used a gamma camera to test these ideas by comparing gastric emptying of iodine-123 iodinated oil in normal and pancreatic-insufficient subjects after 15 g of free oil were ingested in a small spaghetti meal and 60 g of oil were ingested in a large spaghetti meal and in a milk emulsion. Indium-113m marked gastric emptying of water in the milk. In both groups after all meals, oil emptied fastest initially, slowing later; and oil emptied three to four times faster when 60 g vs 15 g were ingested. There were no significant differences between the groups of subjects with respect to gastric emptying of the spaghetti meals, but the pancreatic-insufficient subjects emptied both oil and water faster from the milk emulsion than did the normal subjects. The slower emptying of oil in the normal subjects was associated with significantly more layering of oil to the top of the intragastric milk emulsion.