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In Dead of winter, the rules state that an exiled player can use food cards to increase an action die value by one.

When attacking another survivor, you must have a dice value at equal or greater to your attack stat to initiate an attacl. You must then roll again and achieve a roll higher than their attack stat in order to wound them.

My question is, can this +1 increase be used only on unused action dice before the attack? Or can the +1 be added for instance to the attack roll aagainst their attack stat in order to guarantee a wound?

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The rules don't specify this, but you would not want to do that anyway, since you seem tot have the pvp attack rule wrong:

If a survivor is chosen [to attack], roll the spent action die. If the result is equal to or less than the chosen survivor's attack value, ...

This makes sense, since the better a survivor is at fighting (low attack value), the harder it is to beat them (you have to roll lower).

So you would not want to increase the result of this die.

But suppose you wanted to do so anyway, I think you still can't. The rulebook refers to playing food cards when exiled to increase action die results, but if you are not exiled, you can only increase unused action dice as an action. I would assume that when exiled, this action becomes 'play a food card' instead of 'consume one food from the colony', but the effect is unchanged. The action die you roll for the attack is considered spent at that point (you used it to initiate the attack), so you can't increase it this way anymore. Also, spending food is an action, and it seems reasonable that you can't use one action in the middle of another (eating in the middle of a fight does not sound like a good idea)

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The rulebook explicitly says that playing your food cards for better rolls is possible even when the player is exiled:

The exiled player cannot spend food tokens to increase his action die results, but may play food cards to increase an action die result by 1 for each food card played rather than carrying out the effect listed on the food card.

(from page 14, "Exile" section.)

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