Answer to Sabra

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Posted by Bengt Blomberg on November 08, 2001 at 18:51:41:

Hello Sabra,
Contrary to what happens in the boat hulls we are discussing normally in this forum your question relates to an actual osmosis process.
The cell walls in the potato have properties as a semipermeable membrane for water. Inside the cells there is a solution of starch, sugar and other products needed higher up in the plant. Moisture in the earth passes through the "membrane" to dilute the solution in the cell. As the dilution will not pass out through the "membrane" a pressure is formed in the potato that forces the solution up through the plant.
Now, if you add as much sugar to the outside water as it becomes a stronger solution than the solution in the cells, water will be forced out from the cells until the outside solution is equal to the inside one. Thus the chips will shrink. (Raw chips not the snack ones)
Regards Bengt

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