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Biology/Osmosis

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Question
Hi, I am doing a project about osmosis, where we let some potato piece soak in some water and some saltwater with different percents. So I just wanted to hear if you knew why some of the potato pieces give off water while other gain water? Does salt have the ability to break through the cell membrane? How? And why is salt an effective preserving agent?
Thank you in advance
Anna

Answer
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmosis
http://www.xtremepapers.com/revision/gcse/biology/movement_in_and_out_of_cells.p

why is salt an effective preserving agent
www.ehow.com/how-does_4568483_why-salt-used-as...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_preservation
www.wisegeek.org/how-do-salt-and-sugar-preserve-food.htm  

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